Wisdom from Robert Pinsky














It’s been an exciting week at BU Creative Writing. Today was the last day of this year’s Poetry Institute for Educators, where teachers from around the US came to BU to study poetry with acclaimed poets, and discuss their teaching practices with leaders from BU’s School of Education.  The Institute was founded by Robert Pinsky, and you can read more about it here.

After one of the readings–I’m not sure how we got on this topic–Robert said, Do you know what the story of life is?
Us, eagerly: What is it?
Robert: The story of life is that you’re always a kid.  You know you are.  But then someone calls you Dad or Mom and you think, But I’m just a kid!   You never stop being a kid.

So I wrote a bunch of things down about what that meant for me, but it got so tangential and personal that instead, I’ll leave it at that, and let you unpack it for yourselves.

Oh, and here’s Robert’s advice on sunglasses:
I have one word for you when it comes to sunglasses. Are you ready? (Yes.) Peppers.

In light of this week’s Institute, here’s some poetry that has most recently amazed me. Even if you don’t usually read poetry, I really think that you guys will like these! and I hope you’ll be as stirred by them as I was/am.  Here you go:

“Speaking American” by Bob Hicok.  A book seller once told me that if I liked e.e.cummings in college, then I would like Bob Hicok.  (Although, who doesn’t like e.e.cummings in college?)

“Portrait of My Father and His Grandson” by Richard Jones.  One of the teachers at the Institute shared this with us.

“Love Is Not All” by Edna St. Vincent Millay.

“Inside the Apple” by Yehuda Amichai.  I came in to work the other day and it was on my desk with some other poems.  Sometimes these things happen.

“Sestina” by Elizabeth Bishop, because sestinas are awesome and if you haven’t read Elizabeth Bishop, this is a good place to start.

Post a Comment

Your email address is never shared. Required fields are marked *