Poem, Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister, and Gotham

Lately I’ve become obsessed with poems that have the title “Poem”. There was one in a recently assigned section of The Norton Introduction to Literature (Shorter 11th Edition) in my English 300 class. It’s by Frank O’Hara, and it is on page 678 of the Norton book, if anyone else is following along for some freaking reason. It’s a poem about Lana Turner collapsing. Yup. Celebrities who go off the deep end, like Amanda Bynes’s nose, Nicole Scherzinger’s face, or any other celebrity who’s had an interesting headline are all totes fair game here. I guess the poem sort of leaves us with that feeling that we all get when we see a stupid headline about someone famous online or in the checkout isle.

Another poem we discussed in class a few days ago “Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister”, by Robert Browning. The religious overtones, the Gr-r-r-ing, the eating, the other stuff… I guess we didn’t discuss it as much as we read it in class and to ourselves a few times. I’ll admit, more thought needs to go into this poem on my end. I “sparknoted” the poem after reading it a few times, and this is what I’ve come up with; you should really think about being a monk before you decide to become a monk.

After reading about thirty pages of poems, I had to take a break from the Norton book again. Actually, I took a break from all books today. The highlight of my day was getting to finally watch Monday’s episode of Gotham, which was the best episode of the show so far in my opinion. I have an assignment to do for my creative writing class, as well as a few other tv shows to catch up on. I also still need to get that second source of income situation sorted out.

By Eric Shay Howard

Eric Shay Howard lives in Louisville, Kentucky. He's the author of the fiction collection, Crushes, and is a literary editor. He also works at a law firm and is writing his second book. He's a graduate student in the Bluegrass Writers Studio MFA in Creative Writing program at Eastern Kentucky University.

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