Okrzyki, przyjaciel! (chaircrusher) wrote,
Okrzyki, przyjaciel!

I was typing something and once again misspelled 'separate.' Which made me think about Marvin Bell.
Marvin Bell is a poet, and a professor in the Iowa Writer's Workshop. I had him as a teacher several times, and always enjoyed him, as a poet, teacher, and goofball.

Anyway I remember being in a workshop, and someone very serious had just finished reading a longish poem. No one said anything, and Bell was hunched over the mimeographed* poem. Finally he broke the silence. "Remember, there's a rat in 'separate'"

I remember practically nothing of what he said about writing poetry, but I do remember that. He actually had a fondness for silly spelling mnemonics like that, e.g. "The Principal is your 'pal'"

*yes, mimeographed. Xerox copies were too expensive. We got Mimeograph masters, and typed -- with typewriters -- our manuscripts on them. They printed in blurry blue, and the 20th copy was blurrier than the first. And if you ran the machine, you got blue ink all over your hands.
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