Poetic License: An Ode to Holden Caulfield
|Season 6, Episode 9|
November 20, 1998
After Cory learns of Shawn's great poetry-writing abilities, he and Feeny encourage Shawn to participate in a poetry reading at the student union. Shawn is hesitant, and he only agrees to go when Cory says he only has to read if he wants to. At the reading, however, Cory puts him on the spot. Shawn attempts to read his poem, but rushes out and cannot finish. Cory decides to read it for him, reading it before many students, including Angela and Topanga. Shawn sees this, and he pulls Cory off the stage sternly, dragging him outside to talk to him. Shawn is furious, but Cory insists he did it for Shawn's own good. Shawn tells him he doesn't understand, revealing that it was a love poem for Angela. Of course, Angela overhears this. She walks over to Shawn, slaps him and rushes away.
Later on, Cory tries to talk to Angela. She tells him that she doesn't understand how he can have feelings for her and not want to be with her. Cory urges her to talk to him about her feelings, and she decides it's a good idea. At the student union, Shawn reveals that he wrote the poem before they broke up. Angela, pretending to act relieved, says that it's good that they both moved on. While waiting for a movie, Topanga realizes that she bought the notebook Shawn wrote his poem in for his birthday, but his birthday occurred after him and Angela broke up. Shawn reveals he wrote the poem two weeks ago, but swears her to secrecy, and she complies. Outside, Angela reaffirms Cory's promise of secrecy. Together, they all go to the movie.
Meanwhile, Jack, Rachel, and Eric have trouble studying. Tiny noises bother all of them, so they decide to go to the library. Unfortunately, the library is exactly the same, but with dozens of students. After a short time, all of them are at each others' throats, but Eric calms them down. He instructs everyone to relax, throw their left shoes into a pile, retrieve someone else's shoe, and take them to a movie. Days later, Feeny posts the results of the finals. Everyone did well, and they begin to cheer Eric's name. Feeny points out that it was a good studying system, so long as a student absorbs the material thoroughly beforehand. Of course, his point is that Eric got a horrible grade.
An Unpublished Manuscript of J.D. Salinger
by Rider Strong
It is possible to assassinate my heroes
with the scope of my individualism
However, by their own persistence to themselves
I believe that they have chosen me to pursue a self
What is literature
but the illumination of that which I would write?
Salinger speaks through me, to me
whispers, ‘Where to, little boy?’
My answer is the dogged pen to page
which lights consistently the pathway home
It is on that road
that I alone can trip my way back to myself.
Top of the World
by Rider Strong
You don’t know it, but
Sometimes, I go to a hill that overlooks
the landscape’s mask of city lights
For a sip of momentary grace.
On this brink of everything I know, I can gain
An eyeful of the lost Atlantis in the human soul,
And a breath that fills my lungs with the air between two stars
If you were now to capture the image of this elation
In the framework of your mind,
Or find transcendence through these words,
Then at most you would know nothing
Of the beauty your existence throws to me.
For mine is a love no experience,
No measure, no words
Could ever degrade into reality by virtue of degree.
Who is Holden Caulfield?
Holden Caulfield is a fictional character, the teenage protagonist of J.D. Salinger's 1951 novel The Catcher in the Rye and other Salinger works.