Last night I graded my online students' discussion posts while I listened to this great interview between Terry Gross and Stanley Nelson, the director of a new documentary on the Black Panthers. I thought about how quickly free breakfasts for children and free health clinics give way to FBI informants and bullets in the bedroom.
I thought about the possibilities of metaphor. I thought about all the ways I am not making lasting social change. I went back to grading.
This morning, I wrote a poem. Once, I believed that poets could change the world with the right poem. I am a Brit Lit person that way.
Yesterday, I covered a colleague's classes while she observed Yom Kippur. Today I will cover a colleague's classes while she does jury duty service. This afternoon, a group of us will gather for a happy hour au revoir party for a colleague who is moving to France.
Here, too, I wonder about poetic possibilities.
Yesterday I marked the arrival of Fall by sending a packet of poems to The Iowa Review. I've been sending this journal my poems for much of my adult life with nary a word of encouragement back, much less an acceptance. Non-writers might ask why I keep submitting--clearly, this journal is not interested in my work.
But I know that the work I sent yesterday is significantly better than the work I sent as a young grad student. Maybe at some point, they'll say yes. And besides, I can afford the stamps that it costs me to keep hope alive.
What will today bring? Time to venture out to see.
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