Sunday, August 10, 2008


Tomorrow, I go back to work. A week of meetings and professional development. Students on the 18th. My goal will be to blog once a week. My teaching schedule is still in flux. One of the realities of teaching at the community college level is that there is no consistency in student enrollment. Classes that make easily one semester might struggle the next, even for full-time faculty. I'd rather start the semester off with a bit more surety, but there you go. I should know by Tuesday what I'll be teaching for sure and when. The situation is even more tenuous for adjunct instructors, and they have my sympathy.

I am pleased with my accomplishments for the summer. The book is shaping up and facing its first readers. Thanks to those who've taken the time to give me feedback. I'll send it off for the first time by Sept. 15th. I only hope that I'll be able to keep my writing balance when back to teaching. As always, it is helpful to have a supportive husband along the way.

I've just discovered (or rediscovered, maybe?) the idea of the palinode, a poem that retracts what a poet might have said in an earlier poem. I'm fascinated by the idea, as I've been struggling with several poems I've written in which I know I've captured a "truth," yet the poems seem so harsh and filled with blame/regret/anger. This palinode reminds me that I might have captured a momentary truth, but I can always retract and change my focus. I've always known that poetry (art) could do this, but it's nice to see it in action.

I've been reading the current issue of Hayden's Ferry Review and highly recommend the poetry gathered there. Of particular note is the international section, which features poems in the poet's orginal language on the facing page opposite the translation. This should be mandatory when publishing translations. Having never seen Bengali in print before, I was stunned by the beauty of its characters. I couldn't read the original, of course, but some readers will be able to, as I am of some remnants of French, and seeing the original against the translation only widens the dialogue. Aside from the translations, the journal is simply beautifully produced and worth the read.

No comments: