I gave my class a Poem to read. The author’s Name — I hid.

A-Typical-Mardi-Gras-Mask-for-Lady-Coloring-Page-300x300I gave my class a Poem to read.
The author’s Name — I hid.
I said, “How would you recognize
A poet — edited?

“What if each Dash I have removed —
And lowercased each Quirk?”
The students said, “Well, Dr. Jerz,
Then you would be a jerk.”

 

The prose version:

The poem I showed them wasn’t actually a Dickinson poem, but based on the the content, some students guessed the author was she. Others pointed out the missing markers (the breath-catching dashes and the periodic, triumphant capitalization), and the class was just about to reject Dickinson as the author when I suggested that maybe it WAS a Dickinson poem, and maybe I had just removed the dashes and standardized the capitalization, and that made them grumble because it meant they had to look at the poem even more closely. (Which was, of course, my intent.)