An epitaph a day is like an apple a day… The apple part is rhymed poetry, the dying part is blank verse.


An epitaph a day is like an apple a day, but the opposite, actually

The day the University tested its text-message alert to every cell phone on campus, I assigned epitaphs to my “Introduction to Poetry Writing” class.

“Every morning when you get up, write an epitaph!” I watched them scribble something. “That’s good, I encouraged them, “start right away!,” though I knew that what they were scribbling were not epitaphs, but “every morning when you get up write an epi… epipi… epi…”

“And while you’re at it, turn off your cell phones!” I always say this the first class of the semester, but I didn’t realize that now they would be unable to receive the text-message alert test. If a real wacko wired to a bomb tried shooting his way to fame inside this very door, we’d have been unwarned. I consoled myself with the fact that the Virginia Tech wacko who had killed fellow students had been enrolled in poetry class. If there was a wacko, he could be in my class, writing his epitaph.

An epitaph a day is like an apple a day, but the opposite, actually, because an apple a day keeps the doctor away. The apple part is rhymed poetry, the dying part is blank verse.

by Andrei Codrescu (Born December 20th, 1946)
from The Poetry Lesson (Aug. 16, 2010)
image – Ezyan Y.

In Which I Enjoy a Lively Meander

In point of fact, I came to “The Poetry Lesson” by way of Google Analytics. I was checking for new links leading to QuoteSnack from other sites and noticed one from (no relation to,) in an article titled “Citate pentru suflet.” Huh?

Off to Google Translate I went, soon to discover that “Citate pentru suflet” means “Quotes for the soul” in Romanian. is a Romanian language, Romanian Catholic home base for topics of interest to Information Techie types. Or something like that. With machine translation you never know for sure: concrete facts become poetic anomalies.

I enjoy poetic anomalies and’s readers seem to treasure reading this stuff in Romanian – holding onto that set of thoughts produced an interesting mental sensation, like seeing two sides of a coin at once. Plus, (nerd alert!) I get a kick out of a nice exchange of pings and they’d made the first move. My curiosity led me to the next thing: googling [Romanian poetry.] I found some, with a small subsection into English.

I like the way awarenesses of our cultures can wander into each other via Search engines and Social Media… and our own physical migration. I googled [Romanian poet] and (gasp of delight) found a name I recognized: Andrei Codrescu, a Romanian American writer and writing teacher who has a recent book titled “The Poetry Lesson.” Perfect.

I could spend hours looking for relationships and references. Just did. So there.

Social Media junkies Fellow wanderers may want to follow “The Poetry Lesson” on FaceBook.

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