Saturday, May 06, 2006

Thises & thats

A brief note before the weekend – which is gonna be way gnarly, what with the stack of papers still to be graded & the final marks to be crunched. Largely heartened, however, by the final seminar papers from "Poetry & Theory," some of which were little short of dazzling.
Read Gillian Conoley's Profane Halo (Verse, 2005), & found it very, very good. Why haven't I heard of this poet before? I don't get out enough. Still welcoming suggestions for recent (last 3 years or so) absolutely dazzling books of poetry for my fall course.
Random 10:

1) "Cold Light," Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Fever to Tell
2) "Loisaida," Elliott Sharp, Nots
3) "Lantern Marsh," Brian Eno, Ambient 4/On Land
4) "Lonely Are the Dumb," John Zorn, Filmworks XIII: Invitation to a Suicide
5) "Deusa do Amor," Moreno Veloso +2
6) "Hair Pie: Bake 1," Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band, Trout Mask Replica
7) "Chusen Kale Mazel Tov," David Krakauer's Klezmer Madness!, The Twelve Tribes
8) "Beatrice," Daniel Lanois, For the Beauty of Winona
9) "I Will Be a Good Boy," Gang of Four, Songs of the Free
10) "There Will Never Be Another You," Alex Chilton, Set


Jessica Smith said...

you know You People could avoid all this annoying grading mess by NOT ASSIGNING PAPERS.

you wanna write mine on Vicuña for Ramazani? I know you do!

I'm sure you remember that they are just as much of a hassle to write as they are to grade. can't we just come to an agreement?

Brian said...

Nah--they're far more of a hassle to grade. You only have to write one. We have to read all of them (and since I'm talking about freshmen composition papers, unlike Mark, that's quite the painful endeavor).

Jessica Smith said...

Aw, freshman comp papers are easy... b/c you're just grading for such basic things... you can use a rubric... you're not trying to convince them about, like, what's wrong with their argument about derrida...

if you think they're easier to write, let's trade! i'll grade yours and you can write mine. k?

Mark Scroggins said...

I think I'd rather grade them than write them, at least at the upper levels. Converse is true of comp papers -- the grading's not all that difficult, but the sheer dreariness of the task is such that I'm always tempted to read another 3 pages of Hegel or turn on the tv or something... Hey, wait a minute, Jessica -- three posts on yr. blog today -- don't you have a paper to write???

Amy said...

The problem with grading freshman-level writing (yes, we are all in kvetch mode... it is the weekend for it!) is that after a certain number of them, you become brain-damaged. You start forgetting things, like, the fact that "of" is not a verb, and that Hemingway's first name is NOT Edgar... and your own first name isn't Edgar, for that matter. And after a while, any directly-phrased complete thought (no matter how stupid) comes across as sheer genius. But what really gets me is when I have to argue with them about one of their original and controversial takes on... ha ha ha, no I couldn't even pull that off with a straight face. I might've normally, but right now, I'm brain-damaged. :-D

Jessica Smith said...

"I'm always tempted to read another 3 pages of Hegel or turn on the tv or something... Hey, wait a minute, Jessica -- three posts on yr. blog today -- don't you have a paper to write??"

I have Issues with the Teacher... I don't feel like he respects me. So I'm procrastinating as much as possible... apparently, in order to give him a half-assed paper so he won't change his mind... not that I think he would even if I did something brilliant....

So far I haven't been able to pull off teaching really "controversial" subjects to freshmen. I guess it's supposed to enhance their critical thinking skills, but I get too mad at them for being little conformist Republicans. Good luck to those of you who are grading.

Anonymous said...

Dazzling new volumes? Have you seen the most recent "Peppercanister" volume from the finest living Irish poet, Thomas Kinsella? "Marginal Economy" (Peppercanister 24; Dublin: Dedalus Press, 2006). Here's a taster:

Wandering alone
from abandoned room to room
down the corridors of a derelict hotel
searching for the lost urinal . . .

I woke,
breathing a mental smell
and tasted the night facts.

picking the works of my days apart,

will you find what you need
in the waste still to come?

Michael Peverett said...

Lisa Samuels, Paradise for Everyone, Shearsman 2005. When I asked her (on the false assumption that if you keep asking your favourite poet who their favourite poet is, you eventually get to the top poet) she mentioned (among others sadly not to hand) the Canadian Lisa Robertson's "Debbie: An Epic". Anyhow, a couple of ideas..

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