“I like to start with the ordinary, and then nudge it, and then think, 'What happens next, what happens next?'” – James Tate
Born on Dec. 8, 1944, Tate won both the Pulitzer Prize and the American Book Award for his poetry. Growing up with the goal of becoming a gas station attendant, he struggled in high school, overcame being in a gang, and fell in love with writing while taking college classes on a dare. Ultimately he earned three college degrees, taught poetry and creative writing in several major colleges, and became one of America’s greatest poets, authoring 16 books of poetry and 30 books altogether.
For Saturday’s Poem, here is Tate’s,
Teaching The Ape To Write Poems
They didn’t have much trouble
Teaching the ape to write poems:
First they strapped him into the chair,
Then tied the pencil around his hand
(The paper had already been nailed down).
Then Dr. Bluespire leaned over his shoulder
And Whispered into his ear:
“You look like a god sitting there.
Why don’t you try writing something?”
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