Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Literature Potpourri

Dear Reader and lover of literature,

If you are anywhere near Nashville from Thursday to Saturday 25-27th, you should attend the Christian Scholars' Conference at Lipscomb.

On Thursday, Hubert Locke, a Holocaust scholar and writer will speak at 12:00 on The Power of Narrative. Then at 4:00 Barbara Brown Taylor, one of my favorite religious writers today will speak again on "The Power of Narrative." At 7:30 Tokens, a Garrison Keillor type show, will be presented in the the Alumni Auditorium.

Friday will bring Billy Collins, an American poet, speaking on "Poetry and the Power of Narrative."

Saturday Marilynne Robinson will end with "The Power of Narrative". She is the Pulitzer winner and author of Gilead and Home.

Strong, strong program with literally over a hundred papers and panels intervening the speeches.

Collins has written a wonderful poem that I liked to use with my college students:

Introduction to Poetry

I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide

or press an ear against its hive.

I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,

or walk inside the poem's room
and feel the walls for a light switch.

I want them to waterski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author's name on the shore.

But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.

They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.

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