Saturday, June 27, 2009
Robert Peake (pictured, right) recently graduated from his MFA program at Pacific University. Today he gave the student speech at the commencement ceremony. Here is an excerpt from that speech:
Ours [students'] has been, if anything, an inner transformation—toward a greater awareness of what Paul Eluard meant when he said, “there is another world, and it is in this one,” and, hopefully, an experiential understanding of what our own Marvin Bell points out when he reminds us that, “in art, you’re free.” This experiential understanding of what it means to live through the eyes and ears of a writer can not be inculcated through lectures, workshops, or assignments alone. There is something about good writing one simply has to catch. And the privilege of spending time with mentors who are talented but unpretentious, wise with a sense of humor, and generous almost to a fault—is a rare and wonderful gift.
Read the full text of that speech here.
Only you can improve the audience for poetry.