At The California Institute of Technology

#becomingeducational W5: It’s poetry on Fridays!
Following on from that Webinar I told you about – where we explored how to use poetry in our HE teaching – people were so fired up by experiencing that poetry and those thoughts – that a whole new project was born: poetryfeedhe
And so – here’s an invite to talk about the very shot poem included in the blog. Have a think – share a thought – wonder how you might use it in your own teaching – respond with a poem of your own…
Pass it on!

Poetry Feed HE

I don’t care how God-damn smart
these guys are: I’m bored.

It’s been raining like hell all day long
and there’s nothing to do.

Richard Brautigan, “At the California Institute of Technology” from The Pill Versus the Springhill Mine Disaster. Copyright © 1968 by Richard Brautigan. 

This short poem was written by Richard Brautigan when he was poet-in-residence at the California Institute of Technology in 1967, and it is one of my favourite poems because it completely shatters the illusions of what both science and poetry should be.

RB00W-OD Richard Brautigan: Last of the Beats (Photo Credit: Oliver Dalmon).

When I talk to students (especially undergraduates) about poetry and science they have such preconceived notions about what they should and shouldn’t be, that it can be disheartening. Poetry has to rhyme. Science is really difficult. Poets are fops and dandies in tie-dyed T-shirts and berets. Scientists work in laboratories and all…

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