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Matthew Freeman is a Brooklyn based playwright with a BFA from Emerson College. His plays include THE DEATH OF KING ARTHUR, REASONS FOR MOVING, THE GREAT ESCAPE, THE AMERICANS, THE WHITE SWALLOW, AN INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR, THE MOST WONDERFUL LOVE, WHEN IS A CLOCK, GLEE CLUB, THAT OLD SOFT SHOE and BRANDYWINE DISTILLERY FIRE. He served as Assistant Producer and Senior Writer for the live webcast from Times Square on New Year's Eve 2010-2012. As a freelance writer, he has contributed to Gamespy, Premiere, Complex Magazine, Maxim Online, and MTV Magazine. His plays have been published by Playscripts, Inc., New York Theatre Experience, and Samuel French.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Essay Questions for Bad Poetry #1

The following will be the first in a series of (as I am inspired) essay questions for young high school literature students, who are studying the work of the very worst writers I can come across.

This was written for Hallmark. To be fair.

Now let's read this poem together, shall we? We will use, for the purposes of this exercise, only the front of the card, because it stops rhyming when you open it up.

Finding Time For Friendship

Finding time for friendship
can be difficult these days...
when calendars and schedules
keep us going separate ways.
When eons seem to come between
a visit or a chat,
real friendship doesn't fade away
and we depend on that!
Through every stress and hassle
we count on friends to care,
and when a crisis happens
friends will be the first ones there.
Less important things can wait...
because our peace of mind depends
on giving ourselves the gift
of time to be with friends.

Essay Questions

1. In this poem, the poet seems to think something is very important. What is it?
2. The word "eons" seems an odd choice here because even a human being in excellent health can barely make it to 100 years old. Explain the self-importance this word implies.
3. What do you think the poet's friends are like? Would you like to be friends with them? Why or why not?
4. There are two points in the poem where the poet uses ellipses. Usually, ellipses are used to show that a thought is being artfully left out. Is the poet withholding something from the reader? If so, do you think her goal is create a sense of nameless dread?
5. Justify the exclamation point. I fucking dare you.

Extra Credit! What else rhymes with "friends?"


MattJ said...

i love it.

"If so, do you think her goal is create a sense of nameless dread?"

Maybe not, but she did so anyway!

Scott Walters said...

Hey, it has a nice beat, and it's easy to dance to.