Teaching Revelations

October 18, 2009

1. Undergraduates pretty much despise having to read Homi Bhabha, even a short, ostensibly more accessible work.

2. If one thinks that Columbia is Colombia, this poem by Langston Hughes is hard to understand:


My dear girl,
You really haven’t been a virgin for so long.
It’s ludicrous to keep up the pretext.

You’re terribly involved in world assignations
And everybody knows it.
You’ve slept with all the big powers
In military uniforms,
And you’ve taken the sweet life
Of all the little brown fellows
In loincloths and cotton trousers.
When they’ve resisted,
You’ve yelled, “Rape,”
At the top of your voice
And called for the middies
To beat them up for not being gentlemen
And liking your crooked painted mouth.
(You must think the moons of Hawaii
Disguise your ugliness.)
You’re getting a little too old,
To be so naive, and so coy.
Being one of the world’s big vampires,
Why don’t you come on out and say so
Like Japan, and England, and France,
And all the other nymphomaniacs of power
Who’ve long since dropped their
Smoke screens of innocence
To sit frankly on a bed of bombs?

O, sweet mouth of India,
And Africa,
Manchuria, and Haiti.

You darling,
Don’t shoot!
I’ll kiss you!


One comment

  1. I’ve found that not only students have an allergy to Bhabha, but also many academics!

    I will always consider his “Of Mimicry and Man” a masterpiece.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: