One Single Impression: Inbox
Inbox: What's the Assignment?
These children are new to me
Because I am new to this school.
Still, after nine weeks of traveling together
The roads cleared by Gilgamesh and Sundiata,
Zen priests, the haiku poets of a thousand years ago,
Oedipus, and Nora--
Not to mention God himself
As he is understood by Jews and Muslims
And Christians (who never seem to shut up or go away)--
I hestitantly call them my students.
Anyway, they sometimes read what I ask them to read.
Anyway, together we have smiled and nodded and felt for our
And we were together freaked out
By Torvald's treatment of Nora.
We were creeped out together
When the light dawned on Oedipus.
We wondered about enlightenment
As a concept that might not safely
Cross the street
At the junction of Marine and Western
And we felt very bad for the Japanese dudes
Whose sweethearts didn't add up to lovers,
Who left them in the cold
With nothing but terse lines.
Yeah. We felt that cold.
We took a break and listened to Billy Collins
On TED and liked best the poem about the adolescent girl
Staring into space and playing with her food.
And then we wrote our own poems
About the beach and being warm
And how it all gets good
In the summertime.
When you sit down to literature
And you listen,
The literature speaks to you.
It has been waiting for this moment.
The writer, when he put pen to paper,
Begged the words to remain inert
Until they found a listener
Who could appreciate the meaning
Of their being together in just the way they were.
The writer is an artist who,
When he rips out his heart for you,
Is very careful about how.
When you sit down together
And listen together
And hear together,
That is a gentle and profound miracle:
It is knowing, in the listening,
That you have been heard.
It is breathing life into humble clay.
One Single Impression