In ENG 200, Introduction to Poetry, Professor James Richardson '71 took his class on a journey through poetical time, starting with Caedmon's Hymn, the first known poem, and ending sometime around William S. Merwin. Along the way, Richardson introduced us to Keats, Yeats, and even the Beats.
The greatest disappointment of the class was that this very modest man never acquainted us with his own work. Even though it has been two years since ENG 200, I still remember how passionately Richardson made us feel for Yeats and his unrequited love for Maude Gonne. Now that Richardson is taking his place among the greats, at least we can say we learned meter marking from the best.
More insight into Richardson as a poet can be found in his collection, By the Numbers, for which he was recently announced a National Book Award Finalist. The National Book Foundation describes the collection as "striking for its range of line and movement, for is microlyrics, crypto-quatrains, “ten-second essays,” and the twist and snap of aphorisms." For a taste of his poetry, here is "End of Summer."