When I was at FIU completing my MFA, I was taking a poetry class, and we were studying “The Masters” of modern poetry. Our professor hand selected each one of the masters, which included Theodore Roethke, Sylvia Plath, Elizabeth Bishop, Frank O’Hara, and a couple of contemporaries influenced by these poets. Well, I learned a lot from this class, but what I got most out of the class was our exercises on imitation. I saw the process the same as repainting a famous image. Also, in the class, I found out that Bishop and O’Hara are both from Worcester County — my hometown.
So one of the poems I chose to imitate was Elizabeth Bishop’s, “In the Waiting Room.” Well, the first line goes, “In Worcester, Massachusetts.” When I read that, I nearly lost my mind. I grew up in Worcester County. And the poem was beautiful. It was about a moment of awareness, of understanding the complexities of normalcy and horror, and I knew I wanted to try to imitate Bishop. So I wrote, “In World History Class” — my tribute to Elizabeth Bishop. That’s the poem above. Hope you’ll like it. I’ve been working on it for a couple years, and now I’m looking to try and publish it.
One more thing: I saw this hilarious video from the Florida/Georgia game this weekend. It’s of Coach Muschamp freaking out on his tight end. He’s such a spaz. Dan Le Batard called him “The World’s Angriest Ventriloquist.” Check it out.