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Commentary to untitled poems I-VIII

These poems are not related; they simply do not have titles. The first poem is the oldest, dating from my sophomore year of college. It, too, was influenced by my reading of Nietzsche. The second, in a much shorter version, was composed during my senior year of college, and revised later. The third was composed the day that I heard of the death of one of my college professors, Harry Mullikin. The fourth remains one of my favorites, and is a sort of pseudo-sonnet, containing fourteen lines, but not following the proper meter. The fifth was an experiment, and contains only four active verbs (tumble, fall, float, melt), and three passive verbs (rounded, battered, refined) that can also be taken as participles. I am fond of the chant-like nature of the first and last stanzas, and of the meter of the second stanza. The third is intentionally more difficult, in order to slow the reader down. The sixth, a haiku of sorts, was composed during a German Department coffeehour; after the coffeehour I was explaining the haiku form to a student, and composed this one on the spot as an example. We then translated it into German. The German version maintains most of the vocabulary (except that of the third line) and the rhyme. In fact, most who have read both prefer the German version (I am no exception). In the seventh, what started as one awkward verse developed into another fourteen line poem; I sought to maintain the `my to your' structure of each stanza. The final couplet is my own vague reference to certain poems of medieval German `Minnesang,' in which the noble knight and virtuous lady spend the night together, but are driven apart at the first light of dawn. The final and eighth poem of this collection was written in March of 2002 while I was riding to town on the bus. The first two lines are a reference to the film Dead Poets Society (1989), and the scene in which the students climb on their desks in tribute to Robin Williams at the end of the movie.