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Andrew Hudgins was born in Killeen, Texas on April 22, 1951. During his time in college, he earned his teaching certificate and graduated with a degree in English and History in 1974. Afterwards, he taught in the Montgomery Public School System for only a year. He also graduated from University of Alabama with an MA in English in 1976, and University of Iowa with a MFA in 1984. Hudgins was a part of the English faculty of University of Cincinnati in 1985 and currently is on staff at Ohio State University. His first book of poems(written in graduate school), Saints and Strangers, was published in 1985 and was a Pulitzer Prize finalist.


N.d. Chatelaine. Web. Jan.-Feb. 2016. <http://www.chatelaine.com/health/why-splurging-on-an-expensive-pillow-is-worth-it/
N.d. Chatelaine. Web. Jan.-Feb. 2016. <http://www.chatelaine.com/health/why-splurging-on-an-expensive-pillow-is-worth-it/

N.d. Chatelaine. Web. Jan.-Feb. 2016. <http://www.chatelaine.com/health/why-splurging-on-an-expensive-pillow-is-worth-it/

Playing Dead - Poem by Andrew Hudgins


1 Our father liked to play a game.
He played that he was dead.
He took his thick black glasses off
and stretched out on the bed.

5 He wouldn’t twitch and didn’t snore
or move in any way.
He didn’t even seem to breathe!
We asked, Are you okay?

We tickled fingers up and down
10 his huge, pink, stinky feet—
He didn’t move; he lay as still
as last year’s parakeet.

We pushed our fingers up his nose,
and wiggled them inside—
15 Next, we peeled his eyelids back.
Are you okay? we cried.

I really thought he might be dead
and not just playing possum,
because his eyeballs didn’t twitch
20 when I slid my tongue across ’em.

He’s dead, we sobbed—but to be sure,
I jabbed him in the jewels.
He rose, like Jesus, from the dead,
though I don’t think Jesus drools.

25 His right hand lashed both right and left.
His left hand clutched his scrotum.
And the words he yelled—I know damn well
I’m way too young to quote ’em.

While reading Andrew Hudgins' "Playing Dead", it was obvious to me that the speaker was a child. It personally reminds me of times of playfulness with my own father. The literary devices in this poem are what makes the connection to my own personal father and are honestly what makes it great to me. The diction and overall tone of the poem really bring out a small personal side of Hudgins' childlike side. In line 10, the speaker's description of his/her father's feet is a dead giveaway of just how young the speaker really is and\or could be. Had the subject's feet been described as just smelly feet, the speaker could've been perceived as anyone. Had the speaker said, "hit him in the genital area", rather than "jabbed him in the jewels" (line 22) it could be assumed that speaker is an older person. Using words like " 'em " (line 20) and "jabbed" (line 20) are little colloquialisms that help the reader tune into a child's mind. The tone of the poem feels lighthearted and playful. The author begins the poem with a sort of serious tone. In the third stanza is when the reader begins to loosen up and expose themselves to younger minded aspects of the poem.

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Image result for man driving long road

N.d. Getty Images. Web. Jan.-Feb. 2016. <http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/photo/man-driving-down-winding-road-royalty-free-image/78325879>.

Day Job And Night Job - Poem by Andrew Hudgins

1 After my night job, I sat in class
and ate, every thirteen minutes,
an orange peanut—butter cracker.
Bright grease adorned my notes.

5 At noon I rushed to my day job
and pushed a broom enough
to keep the boss calm if not happy.
In a hiding place, walled off

by bolts of calico and serge,
10 I read my masters and copied
Donne, Marlowe, Dickinson, and Frost,
scrawling the words I envied,

so my hand could move as theirs had moved
and learn outside of logic
15 how the masters wrote. But why? Words
would never heal the sick,

feed the hungry, clothe the naked,
blah, blah, blah.
Why couldn't I be practical,
20 Dad asked, and study law—

or take a single business class?
I stewed on what and why
till driving into work one day,
a burger on my thigh

25 and a sweating Coke between my knees,
I yelled, 'Because I want to!'—
pained—thrilled!—as I looked down
from somewhere in the blue

and saw beneath my chastened gaze
30 another slack romantic
chasing his heart like an unleashed dog
chasing a pickup truck.

And then I spilled my Coke. In sugar
I sat and fought a smirk.
35 I could see my new life clear before me.
lt looked the same. Like work.


In this poem, Hudgins is thought to be speaking as himself. Well, at least he is in my opinion. I think this may be my favorite poem of his because it is relatable to EVERYONE! He paints a portrait of how his life is while he works the night job and it sounds like its some type of school or class. He says he sits eating peanut-butter crackers in thirteen minute intervals. I can't speak for everyone, however, I can use my own classroom experience as evidence to say that one would probably not count or even remember to count every thirteen minutes unless they immensely bored. The most important part of this poem to me is the last 4 stanzas. They pull in the whole point of the poem. He finally realizes that it's okay to want certain things for himself, even if his family disagrees. He makes his big revelation in the 7th stanza and then the reader is given the image of an unleashed dog chasing a pickup truck as an example to relate to Hudgins chasing his dreams.


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N.d. Getty Images. Web. Jan.-Feb. 2016. <http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/photo/truck-in-dense-fog-royalty-free-image/493215435>.

In - Poem by Andrew Hudgins
When we first heard from blocks away
the fog truck's blustery roar,
we dropped our toys, leapt from our meals,
and scrambled out the door

into an evening briefly fuzzy.
We yearned to be transformed—
translated past confining flesh
to disembodied spirit. We swarmed

in thick smoke, taking human form
before we blurred again,
turned vague and then invisible,
in temporary heaven.

Freed of bodies by the fog,
we laughed, we sang, we shouted.
We were our voices, nothing else.
Voice was all we wanted.

The white clouds tumbled down our streets
pursued by spellbound children
who chased the most distorting clouds,
ecstatic in the poison.

In this poem, the speaker seems like an adult reminiscing on childhood experiences. His choice in diction is what makes this poem so good. In the 2nd stanza, he wrote that the children "yearned to be transformed, translated past confining flesh'. To me, that line is the base of the poem. It directly exhibits the crazy imagination of children and how their fun is truly based on their situations that make up on their own. In stanza 3, the imagery describes children disappearing and reappearing in the fog in what the children think of as "temporary heaven". He goes on to explain the great fun the children had playing in the fog. In the final stanza, the poem ends with Hudgins calling the fog the children playing in "poison". This is ironic because the children viewed this fog as, again, "temporary heaven". The very thing the children enjoyed was also bad for their health. Any "fog" coming from a truck is unhealthy. However, the children never saw it this way.




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Free Drinking Water. N.p., n.d. Web. Jan.-Feb. 2016. <http://www.freedrinkingwater.com/water-education3/37-water-well-water.htm>.

In The Well - Poem by Andrew Hudgins

My father cinched the rope,
a noose around my waist,
and lowered me into
the darkness. I could taste

my fear. It tasted first
of dark, then earth, then rot.
I swung and struck my head
and at that moment got

another then: then blood,
which spiked my mouth with iron.
Hand over hand, my father
dropped me from then to then:

then water. Then wet fur,
which I hugged to my chest.
I shouted. Daddy hauled
the wet rope. I gagged, and pressed

my neighbor's missing dog
against me. I held its death
and rose up to my father.
Then light. Then hands. Then breath

In this poem, I get a rather sad tone. The diction ties together along with the tone to make for a sad vibe when reading this poem. In the very first line, Hudgins uses the word "cinched" which is a harsh way of saying a tough grip. Had the author used the term "tight grip", the reader may not have gotten the same feeling after reading the first line. The speaker says he can taste his fear. This metaphor helps the reader to understand just how fearful the speaker is in what he is about to do. Anybody would be nervous about being slid down a well but saying one can say his taste his fear makes the feeling of the speaker better understood by the reader. In the second stanza, the speaker says that he "swung and struck" his head. One could take this as meaning that the speaker was fidgeting to be removed from the well. Hudgins goes on to write that the speaker begins to bleed due to the strike on the head. He says of the blood from the strike on the head, that it tastes of iron. This choice of words is what makes the poem such a touching poem.