Saturday, May 20, 2006

He's Such a Guy

One evening at dinner recently, my husband asked what our son was studying in English class these days. I chipped in that the class was studying poetry again.

Mr. Venger then asked him his impressions of the poetry unit. Our son replied disdainfully, "Poetry is all about feeeeel-ings---Which I have no use for."

I swear I did not raise him that way...


At 5/20/2006 8:25 AM, Blogger Paul Smith Jr. said...

Reminds me of my European History class at Salesianum. We studied art for a while as part of it, and finally one of my classmates asked the teacher, "Mrs. Burke, when are we going to get back to wars?"

I think the entire class felt the same way, he was the only brave enough to say it.

At 5/20/2006 8:47 AM, Blogger Anna Venger said...

Intellectually, there has been nothing my son couldn't handle in school at any point...except feeeel-ings. When he was very young and I was still lookin over homework, his answers were always right on, indicating that he had mastery of the lesson, until he came to questions like: "How did you feeeeel about this?" Then he'd look at me with this blank expression, and I would have to really work with him on those to draw him out so he could put something down. It hardly seemed fair; it was as though he were being penalized for being male. Very upsetting.

At 5/21/2006 7:57 AM, Blogger RickJ said...

Thanks for the important distinction between feelings and feeeel-ings. We all have the former, and some hippies think we have to talk about the latter.

Nice RWN question, btw.

At 5/21/2006 8:16 AM, Blogger Anna Venger said...

Trust me, the distinction (between feelings and feeeel-ings) was all my son's which is why it struck me as so funny. I tried to reproduce his emphases (yes, plural) as accurately as I could, but to get the full comedic effect, one might have had to have been there. It was just a great family moment etched on my mind, emphasizing the difference between males and females, that I was trying to capture for everyone else.

At 5/21/2006 1:32 PM, Anonymous politakid said...

I'm with your son; poetry is not my thing.

I thnk it's because most poems are written so vaguely. Often, I'll read a long poem and not have any idea what the author was trying to say. I'd prefer a more straight-forward piece of writing. Especially because my current teacher only gives us a good grade if we agree with her interpretation.

I still have bad memories of a project on "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" I had to do last year.

At 5/21/2006 1:43 PM, Blogger Anna Venger said...


I know what you mean, and I am no lover of poetry myself. I think if poetry must be taught to boys, the least that could be done is to focus on more manly poetry, epic battles and the like. That might be a better intro for our young men into that aspect of literature.

Honestly, poetry bores me. I can find the alliterations, rhyme schemes, rhythm, assonance, consonance, etc, but I'm left wondering why the heck the author didn't just say what he meant instead of leaving me scratching my head. Hmmm. Maybe it isn't just a guy thing after all...

At 5/25/2006 10:27 PM, Blogger Martha said...

(from the album 'I'M YOUR MAN')

Well my friends are gone and my hair is grey
I ache in the places where I used to play
And I'm crazy for love but I'm not coming on
I'm just paying my rent every day
Oh in the Tower of Song

I said to Hank Williams: how lonely does it get?
Hank Williams hasn't answered yet
But I hear him coughing all night long
A hundred floors above me
In the Tower of Song

I was born like this, I had no choice
I was born with the gift of a golden voice
And twenty-seven angels from the Great Beyond
They tied me to this table right here
In the Tower of Song

So you can stick your little pins in that voodoo doll
I'm very sorry, baby, doesn't look like me at all
I'm standing by the window where the light is strong
Ah they don't let a woman kill you
Not in the Tower of Song

Now you can say that I've grown bitter but of this you may be sure
The rich have got their channels in the bedrooms of the poor
And there's a mighty judgement coming, but I may be wrong
You see, you hear these funny voices
In the Tower of Song

I see you standing on the other side
I don't know how the river got so wide
I loved you baby, way back when
And all the bridges are burning that we might have crossed
But I feel so close to everything that we lost
We'll never have to lose it again

Now I bid you farewell, I don't know when I'll be back
There moving us tomorrow to that tower down the track
But you'll be hearing from me baby, long after I'm gone
I'll be speaking to you sweetly
From a window in the Tower of Song
Yeah my friends are gone and my hair is grey
I ache in the places where I used to play
And I'm crazy for love but I'm not coming on
I'm just paying my rent every day
Oh in the Tower of Song

(Leonard Cohen) Stranger Music, Inc.


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