Baltimore, film, gradschool, poetry, writing

it must be some sort of diabolical mind control

On Wednesday and Thursday of last week, I had individual meetings with about two-thirds of the students in my class. I’ll meet the rest next week. We talked about their artistic tastes and their writing experiences. It took a lot of time to meet with all of them, but I hope it will be worth it in terms of establishing a good workshop relationship.

On Friday, we discussed Elizabeth Bishop’s “In The Waiting Room” and Seamus Heaney’s “Digging,” and got into a spirited discussion about enjambment.

And thus far I have obeyed the Department of Health and Safety mandate of taking at least 24 consecutive hours entirely off from all kinds of work each week: from Friday at 2 pm till Saturday at 2 pm, all I did was watch movies and hang out with friends. It was wonderful. We went to the Evergreen House, a very creepy museum and house belonging to a Baltimore railroad baron’s family, and saw screenings of the animated TELL-TALE HEART and the live-shmaction THE RAVEN projected outside, as part of a Poe exhibit. We also saw an old edition of Poe with illustrations, and one of his signed letters. The man’s handwriting had more flourishes than a fencing match.

And then I also watched TANPOPO, which I would watch again this very second. You couldn’t pay me enough to sit through THE RAVEN again, except for the magician’s duel section – which I would like to get an isolated clip of. Clearly, Dr. Scarabus’s powers extend far beyond the walls of the castle.

We were hoping someone would read Poe’s The Raven aloud, but no one did – so that situation was rectified later in the evening through recitation. I have never read so much poetry aloud as I have here, with these people. It’s great. The Raven, as a poem, is perhaps just slightly too long – but, my God, there are great lines in it.

Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!

I also read Annabel Lee last night, and, as usual, it blew what remained of my mind. Did you know it was one of the last complete poems composed by Poe? I did not.

I am now sort of back on the clock, now. I have a new first draft going. It has to use imagery – we have assignments for workshop – and, as you all know, imagery is my weakness. So this was good for me to try. In writing the draft, I found some stuff I would not normally have found.

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