Tuesday, August 01, 2006


I had a poetry professor in college who wanted to join Randall Jarrell's class when she was sixteen. She went to his house bearing a cake box full of poems, all of her poems. The great man read many of them, and agreed to let my professor into his class, but on one condition: she burns all her poems in that cake box right away. My professor burned those poems, and never looked back. Nothing beats a purge to get rid of poems that don't deserve further attention. I took Randall Jarrell's advice to my teacher to heart. I purged and burned everything but one copy from my youth. It was liberating, and let me move on from so many bad little learning lessons. Sometimes extreme results demand extreme measures. (EDIT: I purged the poems of my youth over five years ago, so don't worry about anything recent or anything of quality being lost.)

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