Letter to the Editor

Thanks for the poetry party

Thursday, July 5, 2007

To the editor:I appreciate the Southeast Missourian for employing writers who value poetry. In February, TJ Greaney highlighted professor Rodney Jones for his efforts to save poetry from extinction. This morning, I enjoyed Matt Sanders' focus on the sports poetry book by Dr. Robert Hamblin.

I remember Hamblin, one of my former English professors, and Dr. Dale Haskell instilling us with their passion for poetry. It was not drudge work. To use a timely summer metaphor, we were not thrown into a pool of poetry and expected to do laps with proper swimming techniques. We jumped in cannonball style, came up laughing and splashing. Thoroughly refreshed.

I apologize to my former students for force-feeding them poetry. Tests like MAP, ACT and Advanced Placement sometimes make us forget the passion. Currently, I work with Jackson educators -- Ellen Lukens, Kara Cracraft, Mary Pensel, Bob Clubbs -- who have shared wonderful ideas for playing with poetry. A special thanks to everyone named in this letter for the invitation to the pool party.