After his craft talk this morning, I am convinced that, if he wanted to, Marvin Bell could levitate a space ship with his mind. He used the alphabet (why not?) as a framework for rattling off his abecedarian thoughts on poetry, nugget after nugget of invigorating advice interspersed with his own quirky humor. He read two poems that had nothing to do with the basics of successful lyric poetry–image, language, attention to specific detail and scene–and everything to do with transmitting poignant sentiment through casual tone and nuanced observation. He described them as “poems which don’t care if you think that they are poems.” By that time, we had reached the letter “B.” What followed were twenty-four equally subversive, insightful forays–all told with a twinkle in the eye. Having him act as my faculty advisor in the coming semester is nothing short of a privilege.
Updated: 13 January 2008