On “Hedgehog”

“Hedgehog” by Paul Muldoon is a poem about the relationship between a hedgehog and an inferior, yet persistent snail. The hedgehog knows something the snail does not know, and the snail begs for the knowledge.

This poem raises several questions in my mind. After reading it in class, all I could wonder was,”So, is this about God or what?” The poem seems to me to be a pretty straightforward. It includes the mention of a “crown of thorns” and it also straight up mentions God in the last stanza. But I guess I just struggle to figure out what trust has to do with a hedgehog, a snail, and a god.

If I am correct and the snail represents humanity, and the hedgehog represents God, am I wrong about my notions that all believers trust God already? Why would God not trust humanity?

Muldoon visited Lenoir-Rhyne University as a part of its Visiting Writers Series.

Muldoon, Paul. “Hedgehog.” Poetry Foundation. Poetry Foundation, n.d. Web. 15 April, 2016.


On “Shitty First Drafts”

In an excerpt from her book, Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott discusses the beginnings of the writing process that great writers use. She talks about the idea of a “shitty first draft” and how writers write several of them before publishing the final product.

Most students do not enjoy writing rough drafts. It’s a tedious process that many would rather avoid. If I had it my way, I wouldn’t even write a rough draft. I have too much confidence in my myself and my writing, and I tend to believe that the first draft of something I have to write for class is adequate enough to turn in as is. I’m always told that it is almost impossible to write something perfectly on the first try, but still I remain stubborn. Because of Lamott’s conversational language and relatable tone, “Shitty First Drafts” made me think about the writing process and how it actually helps to follow it.

Anne Lamott visited Lenoir-Rhyne as a part of the Visiting Writers Series.

On Moving Abroad

Very often I will hear someone tell me that if Donald Trump is elected president, they are moving to Canada. I have even heard it called “the real Promised Land” where everything is great and nothing hurts. Obviously not all of the people saying this are going to up and move countries. And why would they want to? In his Washington Post article “Think moving abroad will save you from Trump? Think again,” Garrison Keillor answers this question. His answer?: They don’t want to. He argues that if Trump is elected and you move abroad, “you will run into him wherever you” because of the tremendous influence America has over the world.

The article covers a topic that I think about quite often. Whenever I hear people making plans to move to Canada, I sort of just roll my eyes with a head shake. Although, I suppose I see where those people are coming from, and have agreed with them at one point (I would have rather be labeled “American” than see what was happening to the citizens of the country), I now believe that fleeing a country like America because of some billionaire who makes promises he (thankfully) cannot keep would not be the greatest idea.


“Snow Day” by Billy Collins – 1/26/16

Billy Collins’ “Snow Day” illustrates an image of a town paralyzed by the falling snow. The poem contains a contrast between a beautifully calm snow that inspires stillness and joy, and a powerful force of nature capable of destruction.

For instance, the poem’s first line refers to the the snow as a “revolution”. I think this is an interesting choice of words because when I think of a revolution, I think of bloody battles, brutality, and disharmony. In the next line, however, Collins calls the snow a “white flag”, a symbol of surrender and peace. He immediately sets up the contrast that appears several times throughout the poem.

We see the contrast again in the fourth stanza, where the speaker calls themselves a “willing prisoner” to the snow. The snow that has the ability to “softly block” something as powerful as a train, forces them to stay indoors. However, they are positively affected by the sense of calmness and peace that the snow brings.

“Snow Day”: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/176051