That's a wonderful meditation you wrote there, Marcy. It says a lot of
the stuff in this book I'm reading: THE IDENTITY IN QUESTION, ed. John
Rajchman (Routledge, 1995). On the poetry front, one of the things that
bothers me is that so few students -- folks -- love poetry these days. So
the old canonical/memorization/and its is good for you, too, hasn't
instilled love of poetry, of language, or much else. So, what's the point.
But there is a lot of wonderful poetry being written, or already written,
that is closer to 'home' -- to where different people are actually 'at'
that inspires love of poetry and even the desire to memorize, in some.
And perhaps, an interest in other poetry by canonically famous folk. The
African American poet June Jordan has a wonderful tribute to Walt Whitman
that would make anyone want to go and read him, for example. My students
are surprised that 'black poetry' exists -- and they love it. Most do,
anyway. One said he never knew that poetry existed about things that
mattered to him, and he is an English major.
Yes, there should be some common texts in a curriculum, but that doesn't
mean they need be by Dead White (European) Males, or that they be
presented as 'the best of high culture.' They can be presented as
representative of particular styles, points of view, historical moments,
whatever, leaving room for students to seek out what else might be there,
what else was going on in the discussion that goes on in a culture.
Is this a rant? Leslie
Leslie Sanders Humanities/Writing
Programmes 706 Atkinson College (416)736-5208 (X66604)
York University (416)736-5343
[log in to unmask]
Encoding: 55 TEXT