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Poems on the University

1.
Poem on the Xerox Machine

The Xerox machine is not printing currently,
But feel free to try it
Later on today.
We wanted you to know
That we are aware of the issue.

2.
Poem on the Introduction of Further Paperwork

We didn’t believe
That there was sufficient paperwork
Associated with this process,
So we have added
Further paperwork.

3.
Poem on a Phrase in a Faculty Meeting

You may have heard
That this is the case,
But it is simply not the case
Because if you say that something
Is “simply not the case”
In the correct tone of voice,
Which is like a man’s tone of voice,
Then it can’t be.

4.
Poem on the Departmental Merit Review Document

Attached for your information
Is the departmental merit review document,
Which the Executive Committee developed
And which the department as a whole has accepted,
With some revisions,
As the Chair’s guide on merit reviews.
As always, these criteria
Are the rules of thumb
For overall evaluation of a faculty member’s record
By both the Chair and the Deans
That include both a strong emphasis on
A faculty member’s performance
Each year
And the larger context
Of performance over time.

5.
Poem on the Center for Wellbeing

The Center for Wellbeing
Asks you to remind your students
That we are here for their
Wellbeing.
We have several
Exciting upcoming events,
And we have made a lot of signs
And put them
Around campus.

6.
Poem on the University’s New Land

We have bought some land,
Sort of a lot of land,
Actually,
And we plan to build things on it.
We refer to this as “Project Innovation”
As no one has ever bought land
And built things on it
In the past.
This project represents a unique
And daring vision
For the future.
Please direct all questions
To the Dean of Land Acquisition.

7.
Poem on an Interlibrary Loan

An item that
You requested
Through interlibrary loan
Has arrived
And is available for pick-up
At the Circulation Desk.
Title: Cabinets for the curious:
Looking back at early English museums /
Author: Arnold, Ken.
Due Date: 5/16/2016*
*If you no longer need this item,
Please reply to this email.

8.
Poem on a Symposium

This afternoon,
There will be
Another symposium
To discuss
The Crisis in the Humanities.
Please do attend
So we can discuss
The important,
But threatened,
Place
Of humanist thought
In contemporary
American
society.
Reception to follow.

9.
Poem on a Student’s Lost PIN Number

This is just to say
That I have lost my PIN number
And need it to register
So can you please
Send it to me
Again.

10.
Poem on the Xerox Machine, II

The Xerox machine
On the second floor
Is printing again.

There are also cookies
In the mail room
From the talk earlier
And baby carrots
But no dip.
Susan Harlan: Road-tripper and collector of things she doesn’t need.


  1. April 28, 2016 @ 12:20 am Judith Madera

    This is marvelous. so funny.

    Reply

  2. May 23, 2016 @ 8:44 pm BT

    My heart is singing.

    Reply

  3. November 14, 2016 @ 12:18 pm Sidra Owens

    These poems remind me of office emails I receive. Here is some info you can do nothing about and of which you care very little.

    Reply

  4. November 14, 2016 @ 12:51 pm Ann WJ White

    I remember those days

    Reply

  5. November 14, 2016 @ 1:44 pm jerriperri.com

    Innovative poem. Perfect verse and easy style

    Reply

  6. November 14, 2016 @ 2:48 pm Nessa

    These are eerily and funnily (if that’s even a word) true. 🙂

    Reply

  7. November 14, 2016 @ 4:30 pm Anaklusmosj

    From poet to poet, a beautiful piece. From student to teacher, I know the struggle. As a future English teacher, oh, what a vision of the future.

    Reply

  8. November 14, 2016 @ 9:32 pm GPA Underdog

    Hilarious, and refreshing actually. After so many years of never understanding any of the poems I read, I figured I was incapable. Not so here! Bravo! Poems for the plebeians and rich in intellect alike.

    Reply

  9. November 15, 2016 @ 2:01 am Nicole Moll

    These perfectly depict daily struggles so eloquently.

    Reply

  10. November 15, 2016 @ 6:48 am Higgy

    How reassuring I am not alone…….

    Reply

  11. November 19, 2016 @ 5:39 am Roda Jean

    Funny and smart writing ❤

    Reply

  12. November 20, 2016 @ 6:20 am Maxim Mower

    I love this – witty and dry and hilariously relatable. 6 and 8 are my favourite

    Reply


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