My Favorite Poets
7 Poets in 7 Days
I am presenting Kathleen Fraser today because
her poetry made an impact on my life as a teacher, artist, writer and poet. I had to dig in deep, when I approached a poem by Fraser. My students had to work hard and we made discoveries along the way as we traveled into the interior of a poem together.
When you are presenting a poet’s work with your students,
you are actually teaching yourself at the same time.
For an hour in the classroom, a professor puts in weeks and months of research, readings, and writing the course materials. In fact, what we teach and discussed in the classroom comes from many years of studies and experiences.
I often brought materials into our discussions that came to me while we were speaking – ideas and comments, and little tidbits that rose to the surface of our conversations. A teacher in higher education is like a treasure chest full of experiences, studies, research, and creativity. When we teach a course that is a “focused option” on a particular topic or person, we only grasp a glimmering of meanings in those 15-week meetings in the class rooms. Poetry takes time. We have to be willing to put in the time .
When I started to write this little mini-series of my ” 7 Favorite Poets” I saved her for last. I wanted to think about her poems for some time before I started to write this article today.
To my great surprise, when I began doing a search on her poetry, I learned that she died in February, 2019 at the age of eighty-three. I never pictured her in her 80s for when I saw her in person I never thought of her as an age. She was a presence, and I sat, enraptured, as she read her poems. This is when I thought about what poetry really is. It is outside of time –
My thoughts go back to the evening, years ago,
during my career in teaching.
I attended a poetry reading by Kathleen Fraser at Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA. She had a quiet presence as she stood at the lectern reading her poetry to a little group as we sat in a semi-circle listening intently to her. The evening was so memorable and is forever distilled in my memory. Just this one snapshot. I think of the many students who sat and listened to her in classrooms over the years of her teaching life.
I looked up her books on Amazon, and there ae some that I don’t have in my collection. But the ones I do have, are treasures to me. She wrote in such a way that you can never forget the feelings you had when you read them last, no matter how much time has passed.
I think the best way to know about Kathleen Fraser is through her poems.
You can listen to one of her poems in this audio clip in which
Kathleen Fraser reads her poem, “The Cars.” After her reading you can listen to a discussion of that poem
I think this is the best way to learn how to DISCUSS a POEM.
You will notice that it all is about the TEXT and keeping a FOCUS on the TEXT that will lead to revelations in the poem.
I don’t want to finish this article without mentioning my own favorite book by Kathleen Fraser:
When New Time Folds Up. You can see the book and read about it here: See it here.
Would you like to read, A Study Guide for a Poem by Fraser? Click here!
The article is a gift to you from Lynda McKinney Lambert.
Kathleen Fraser is #7 in my series
7 Poets in 7 Days
for National Poetry Month, 2019.
Lynda McKinney Lambert. Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved.
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