Your folders were OKAY. Some members of the group did some fairly remarkable revisions and 2 semesters of growing in one workshop. Some circled the airport for months and managed to land with all cargo in tact. More than one member of the group blamed the group for the demoralization to which they undoubtedly contributed. You were, for better or worse, a weird and dissonant crew. You resented being reminded that you don’t seem to know much about the glorious company you wish to join. Every time I got up to look for a poem I thought might shed some light on our discussions, you broke up into little coffee clatches [sic] and talked about anything except poetry. Dave thought he was the co-pilot and never stopped talking; Marc hardly said a word but nonetheless did a very good revisions of one of John’s poems; Kathleen was hip and witty and neo-sixties and condescending; Kim was solemn and neo-classical and condescending; Marianne was surprised this wasn’t group therapy, was forthright and humble, and did some fine revisions; John joined the 20th Century with considerable success; Jackie stopped doing the suburban minuet and might learn to boogie yet; Dan filled in every pause in Dave’s monologue, never listened to anybody, and yet somehow (osmosis?) translated his transcripts into po-ems.
I don’t ever want you all back in the same room, EVER, but I want you all to keep reading and, if you must, writing. Your final assignment is Theodore Roethke’s essay, “The Last Class.” Also the complete works of Whitman, Hopkins, Baudelaire, Hardy, Dickinson, Frost, Williams, Pound, Eliot, Stevens, Moore, Blake, Donne, Browning, Keats, Lowell, Bishop, Roethke, Berryman, Creeley, Levertov, Kumin, O’Hara, Ginsberg (you can skip around), Wright, Brooks, Kees, Crane (H.), Gibran.
[professor’s dog’s name redacted]