“Jonathan Ball” — a great poem from This Is Importance by Gregory Betts

A first for me: a poem titled “Jonathan Ball” appears in Gregory Betts’s new book, This Is Importance — a collection of poetry created through a collage of “mistakes” from student essays. Betts taught Clockfire in one of his classes, and so the poem is constructed out of lines pulled from course assignments.

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Beautiful and strange — like the book as a whole. The funniest book of poetry I have seen for a long, long time, and oddly brilliant. Betts’s introduction does a nice job of clarifying that he isn’t trying to make fun of students with the book, so much as recognize their unintentional genius.