Today there was a lunchtime presentation at Pratt on the topic of close reading. It was a mostly interesting discussion, except that one of the presenters mentioned she had students reading sonnets by John Berryman (OK, whatever) and… er…Kim Addonizio… and that she also gives students several poets’ close readings of Lowell’s “Skunk Hour,” as well as the poem itself. Why is this *crap* still being used as models of poetry for impressionable young minds? She also brought in a handout of poems she uses for close readings including some Russel Edson, some Plath, “Red Wheelbarrow” and “In a Station of the Metro”. Has no one yet figured out that these are both execrable poems, whose inflated historical importance may be their only virtue? oh GAWD. I want to SMASH THE BORING FUCKING CANON ALREADY. I can almost see myself in Doc Martens kicking everything and slamming at POETRY with a baseball bat. If you can’t teach people to read everything poetically, which would, I feel, be an exhilarating goal, at least give them some poetry to read that won’t make them think poetry is this awful monotonous whiny self-important thing. “Skunk Hour” — aaaaagh! SAVE ME!!!!!