Considering Death This Christmas? Read T.S. Eliot’s “Journey of the Magi”

I'll never forget the first time I read "The Journey of the Magi" by T.S. Elliot. Think: Passion of the Christ, sub magi. This poem is deep and dark and human, revealing the grit that's glossed over by art and centuries. All I knew of the magi is they were funny-looking little men-dolls we set …

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Timothy McVeigh & I Agree on One Thing

My favorite poem was basically written by the one-legged pirate, Long John Silver. What's worse, my favorite poem was also the favorite of Timothy McVeigh, infamous building-bomber-baby-killer, who went so far as to quote it just before leaving this world by lethal injection in June, 2001. I remember thinking that McVeigh was about to meet …

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Nothing’s More Fun Than Doing The Assignments I Give My Students

The Assignment: A 10 line iambic pentameter conceit poem. His Favorite Pair of Jeans He once compared me to a pair of jeans, Velveteen-threadbare, torn, and faded jeans. We were as close as clothing then, denim Dressed and pressed against each other. Thirteen Years my best friend. So best he could forget The holes, the …

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The Hardest 5000 Words Assignment I’ve Given Yet…

I know this because it's 5:25 PM and only half of my students have posted their work. I've received several emails about how difficult this assignment is, as well as some flat-out I'm-not-doing-this communications. I get it. Some prompts are harder than others. But the ones who did the assignment-- who did what I asked-- …

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