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Alter Egos - I Am Done Watching This

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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Getting to Know the Poems - Robert Creeley

Dead Beat as you probably know spent some time in Black Mountain where he met many's a young poet including the great Robert Creeley. As an aspiring teacher of poetry, Dead Beat just had to ask him for what ever advice he had:

"Let me tell you a story," he said to Dead Beat:

" I was 'trying to teach' (quote), William Carlos Williams. He was my great love and I remember this semester involved with Williams, in which we basically read the Collected Later Poems... I remember this terrific student [Tom Field] coming and saying afterwards, 'You know, I feel as though I know Williams absolutely, and I have this extraordinary sense of knowing these poems, not understanding but knowing, I know them...' Incredible. 'But,' he said, 'I never had a chance to ask you what you thought of them.' [Laughter] It was the most terrific compliment I ever got as a teacher, this person utterly transformed with his love for Williams but he, quote, 'didn't know what I thought about them'. I felt I'd done my work. It was now time to move on."

"So that's the secret Bob? Do your work, move on?"

"What I am saying Dead Beat is that your students have to get to know the poems. You know, send the students and the poems out for drinks together, crash in their appartments, borrow loose change, that's what I'm saying."

I thanked Bob for his advice and asked for a dollar to buy some coffee.

1 comment:

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