Thursday, March 14, 2013


Well, now.  I surely did not expect that this evening, as I drove El Hijo home from school, that he would be declaiming an Ezra Pound poem -- "The Rest":  O helpless few in my country / O remnant enslaved! ... etcetera!  He likes this poem, he sez, which made moi day.

This was all in preparation for tonight's homework -- Michael and his classmates are charged with writing out a poem in cursive, which apparently put his entire English class in fright as ... who among these texters handwrite nowadays! 

Then, after handwriting the poem, they're supposed to give brief analyses.

So of course I said I'm pleased he's doing Ezra Pound.  But he replied, "Do you know this poet Dad was talking about?  Robert something?  Dad said I should check him out."

I didn't have to be a genius to reply, "Robert Frost?"

"Yes," said the son.  "Does Dad have one of his books in the library?"

Dad?  Dad?  Who's the poet here?  I swallowed back my irritation and calmly said, "I'll help you find the book."  Well of course I found the book -- it is in MY, MY, MY poetry library!

He's just like the rest of the furry animals -- privileging the Hubby because he's not around the house as much as I am.  Sheeesh.

Anyway, to make a long story short, yes, he's writing his poem on "The Road Not Taken."  Sigh.  Speaking of sighs, Frost uses that word "sigh" in the poem and I had to explain what that meant.  By sighing.

I did wish he focused on Pound instead because, as I told Michael exaggeratedly, "Every high school student writes on that Robert Frost poem!"

Michael looked at me and said, "Uh, no.  My classmates never heard of it ..."

Ah, yes.  I've forgotten about Prop 13's effect on public school education.  Anyway, so Michael's writing on that poem ...

...and, I suppose, it's just as well.  You see, experts say it takes someone 5-7 years to master "academic language" in a new language.  Michael will end his 4th year in English next week when he turns 17.  So.  Robert Frost it is ... and, actually, I will be the first to concede that as someone who introduces poetry, Mr. Frost acquits himself very well.

Indeed, I hadn't read "The Road Not Taken" in years.  Looking at it this evening, I realize I'd forgotten how wonderful a poem it is.  Mr. Frost -- to ye, I bow.

P.S.  I just helped Michael begin writing the poem in cursive.  It took three minutes for him to handwrite "The".  "Yes," I affirmed to him, "Try to connect the letters..." Oy vey -- it is going to be a long night.