Biography and Commentary


Copyright (C) 1997 by Not Nice Music

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About the Man

Barry J. Drogin was born on May 2, 1960 (which explains his location at Vienna/1960). He was raised in North Merrick, Long Island, where his mother died of breast cancer in 1966. His father remarried and moved the family to Dix Hills, Long Island, within District No. 5, the richest school district in New York State. He "escaped" Long Island at the end of his junior year to attend Emerson College in Boston for a year and a half. There, he majored in Theatre Directing and minored in Music Composition, while becoming active on an alternative college newspaper.

Barry transferred out of Emerson in the middle of his sophomore year, but had to enroll at The Cooper Union in New York as a freshman due to a lack of technical credits. Since, during his first year at Cooper, Barry had the dual status of freshman at Cooper while still a sophomore at Emerson, Barry came up with the phrase "Three Year Sophomore", which was also reflected in a Doonesbury cartoon he discovered later and, at one time, reproduced on his resume.

Harboring a strong interest in musical theater, and enjoying a personal correspondence with Stephen Sondheim, Barry experimented with lyric writing, but never took himself seriously as a poet, lyricist, or writer of fiction. He remained ignorant of the world of poetry for many years, finding much of it opaque and incomprehensible. It is strange then that, nevertheless, he found himself penning a few lines while in college, which he collected under the title, "Poems From A Three Year Sophomore". The impulse never arose again.

About the Poetry

The poetry in this collection was written during Barry's college days. They were gathered by Barry himself in a clear binder, and some were later included in the book, "Cassandra's Curse/Writings Nobody Wants To Read". The order of the poems in this collection is taken from the order they occur in the original collection.

"The NSF Program" was actually performed by Barry at a party, with Professor Rakow accompanying on guitar. "My First F", which recalls the styles of various twentieth century playwrights, was a real assignment that went unappreciated by the teacher, but not the students. Although proud of the mark, Barry withdrew from the course shortly thereafter: as a Three Year Sophomore, he had earned all his humanity course credits at Emerson, so it was an elective. "Reflections on a Shitty Poem" was written, with Roy Smith, during a late-night layout session of a poetry page for "The Cooper Pioneer", the school newspaper. It was inserted into a blank space on the page, which was a rather insulting and hostile act, for which he apologizes, belatedly, profusely.

The poems are, as to be expected, sophomoric. Most do their business, quickly, then get off before wearing out their welcome. For this we can be grateful.

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    Last Updated: August 4, 2007