sophomores: you never know what's going on in their heads. this past semester, one of my students wrote a piece of music based on the poetry of denise duhamel. i told them all i didn't care if they set an ad from the yellow pages or a dirty limerick from the internet. the point was counterpoint. they had to observe the rules of counterpoint. the quiet shy one set the following text for two voices and a cello, like a little Bach partita allemande:
Everyone knows not to have sex after handling a corpse.
pointed to his groin and said,
"This big fellow isn't afraid of taboos." His wife warned him, but he just laughed as he rolled her onto her back.
The next day a huge raven rose up from a boulder
and grabbed the penis of Him-Whose-Penis-Stretches-Down-To-His-Knees.
The raven tugged as though the penis were a frozen piece of fish.
The raven tugged until he tore off most of the penis, then flew away.
Now people from the village point to the man
whose urges couldn't wait one more day.
They taunt him by calling out his new name: Him-Whose-Penis-
i googled the poet and read her other poems too. i learn so much from my students. jesus christ i'm glad i didn't sit in an office all semester in front of a computer. i would have missed grading this assignment, which was really well done, by the way. i could easily hear it in four parts like Bohemian Rhapsody.