Wednesday, September 2, 2009

First Assignments

So many firsts going on the blog the past few weeks! Here at Hollins I am about to beginning the end of my first day as a graduate student. Wednesdays are a busy day for me; I have three classes, between the hours of 10 AM and 9 PM.

Before I scoot along to that last class, I have a question for my fellow MFAers. For my literature class, taught by the amazing and fabulously coiffed Jeanne Larsen, I must submit the most perfect poem ever published. Needless to say I am baffled and dazed by options. Since I know there are many, many poets and poetry lovers who contribute to and read this blog, I thought I would ask you. What do you think is the most perfect poem?


  1. Well, I know nothing of perfection, but I would like to refer you to Li-Young Lee's "Persimmons." For me, there's no more touching a poem.

  2. Now I am totally stressed out about suggesting a poem for you lol. I shall return!

  3. Shakespeare's Sonnet 18? Or is that too old school?

  4. ooooh, that is a trick question! i don't even know what to suggest.

  5. "Man and Wife" by Robert Lowell is divine. I don't know about perfect, though.

  6. Funny, I just discussed a poetics statement in one of Paul Hoover's classes by Andre Bretan that said "Perfection is laziness." Weird coincidence.

    That said, here's my top five:

    1. Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Elliot
    2. In Memory of W.B. Yeats by W.H. Auden
    3. Morning Song by Sylvia Plath
    4. A Dream Deferred by Langston Hughes
    5. Stanza LII in Song of Myself by Walt Whitman

    Even after listing five I'm not satisfied that one of these is "the most perfect". Tricky assignment. I hope you'll tell us what you pick.

  7. I love "Kaleidoscope" by Sonia Sanchez and "Cambridge Elegy" by Sharon Olds.

  8. Oh yeah, I had to list 5 poems too! So I'll just share those:

    "Urban Renewal" by Major Jackson (the first line "You are almost invisible in all this plain decay.") this probably would be #1 for me. Yeah, I just read it again. Hands down the perfect poem, IMO.

    "At Pegasus" by Terrance Hayes
    "Same City" by Terrance Hayes
    "Aftermath" by Claudia Emerson
    "Nikki-Rosa" by Nikki Giovanni

    Phew! Glad that's over lol.

  9. if i sat down and researched i'd probably think of others but one of my all time favorites is

    The Snow Man by Wallace Stevens

    otherwise I'd probably lean towards At the Fishhouse by Bishop

  10. Wow, leave to all you wonderful people to suggest poems I've never read before. Unfortunately, I am not terribly well read in poetry, thus my issue. Now I know what I'll be doing for the rest of the afternoon!

    I am so tempted to submit "My Mother's College" by Sharon Olds. I'm having such a hard teasing out the difference between perfection and my admiration. Still, I reread it last night and I had the exact same reaction I had the other times I read it. That speaks something of perfection.


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