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Poetry Magnum Opus

correction facilities


dedalus
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'Up at the Villa', starring

Sean Penn and Kristin Scott Thomas

is the perfect film to watch

when you have to correct

exams in Japan.

 

Believe me.

 

As you turn over

paper 117 out of 564

and scan the answers

a, c, b, d, a ...

1 - 7 - 3 - 4 - 6

(and that's only Question One)

Sean and Kristin take you away

and between them

lift your sagging spirits.

 

Oooh, she's a fine-looking

thing, is she going to

marry that old stuffed shirt?

 

Right, a, c, b, d, a

1 - 7 - 3 - 4 - 6

 

An autistic monkey

could do this job:

boring, oh so boring ...

 

but

I'd like to see

the chimpanzee

who could have written

this exam, so cunningly constructed,

so well-devised, so delicately balanced,

so ... (thank you, thank you)

in that the median grade

(are we watching this movie or what?)

is no more than four points and a bit

between 63 and 68!!

 

Omigod,

is he going to shoot her???

No!! He shot himself.

What's she going to do now?

Yawn, a, c, b, d, a

1 - 7 - 3 - 4 - 6

 

There are

two things you need

to understand, one of them

important, the other not.

The dedicated teacher,

a foreigner, well-meaning,

creates a balanced

statistically

 

impressive exam;

whereas

his or her students, quite

ordinary kids for their age

and the society they live in

tune out totally

from the English language.

 

O look, look --

they are trying to hide the body

but a car is coming!!

Moving along,

a, c, b, d, a

1 - 7 - 3 - 4 - 6

 

Well, nobody fails

in my classes unless

they really, really try.

Some do, sometimes,

not because they are dumb,

and not because they hate foreigners,

nor even me, particularly.

 

They just hate the idea

of foreign languages

and everything they (and we)

might stand for.

Edited by dedalus

Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim

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I'm from a family of teachers, so it's a familiar scene, the correcting of papers, grades, and all. Sometimes I'm envious of the summers off, part, lol. But I liked how you worked the task itself into the speaker's own private surroundings and contemplation.

 

Tony

Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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Im liking the fast paced interweaving of multiple threads in this poem--

the grading of papers, watching a movie, commenting on the movie, commenting on the papers, commenting on the life of the teacher in a foreign land...

very effective

 

question:

did you mean to get Kristin Scott Thomas wrong by name? or did it just happen as an accident when you wrote the poem, and thus thought you should leave it as how it arrived? I can see myself doing something just like that- but wanted to know some more about what was in your mind

 

the title is perfect-- I revisited the title after reading the work, and it added another smile to my take (this is a cool thing about reading the poems here on the board-- the title is visually separated from the work itself, and I find myself often forgetting the title as Im reading, and have to go back with extra intent afterward to remind myself)

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You're right!, KRISTIN Lee Thomas is correct (I checked). Glad you liked the poem, anyway . On the bright side, I'm nearly finished with these damn corrections ....!

Edited by dedalus

Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim

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You're right!, KRISTIN Lee Thomas is correct (I checked). Glad you liked the poem, anyway . On the bright side, I'm nearly finished with these damn corrections ....!

 

well, we're getting closer-- its KRistin SCOTT Thomas

(not Kristin LEE Thomas)

 

see UP AT THE VILLA here

 

and KRISTIN SCOTT THOMAS here

Edited by rumisong
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Hi Brendan, I thought this poem was fun. Probably more fun that the living of it. What was most interesting was the weaving of insight into your thought process while occupying yourself correcting papers and watching a movie. Very easy, pleasureable reading.

 

~~Tink

~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

For permission to use this work you can write to Tinker1111@icloud.com

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