Poet Jane Hirshfield said "... the feeling I have about poem-writing (is) that it is always an exploration, of discovering something I didn't already know.  Who I am shifts from moment to moment, year to year.  What I can perceive does as well.  A new poem peers into mystery, into whatever lies just beyond the edge of knowable ground."

I bring a different poem to the writing classes each week, not only to inspire but to introduce new poets to the group members.

Tone by Sonnet L’Abbe

is an important aspect
of any class text.  Ask
your professor if you may 
say no way! to object, or
hey! to interject, in any essay
meant to earn respect.

You can’t say: this dude
Knows his shit.  Nor can you
Say: he’s full of it.  to argue
Your point, your joint
Gotta have vocab game.

However and nonetheless
Kick but’s ass.  They got
Up-in-the-front-of-the-class.
Address to impress.
Your convention hall pass.

The rules of tone are all    
unspoken.  One learns
the hard way
that they can be broken.

~ from Red Silk: An Anthology of South Asian Canadian Women Poets 
(Mansfield Press, 2004)


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