Archive for the 'Poems' Category

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Happy Birthday

On her birthday, a poem for my mother……

In Memory of My Mother

I do not think of you lying in the wet clay
Of a Monaghan graveyard; I see
You walking down a lane among the poplars
On your way to the station, or happily Going to second Mass on a summer Sunday–
You meet me and you say:
‘Don’t forget to see about the cattle–’
Among your earthiest words the angels stray.
And I think of you walking along a headland
Of green oats in June,
So full of repose, so rich with life–
And I see us meeting at the end of a town on a fair day by accident,
after the bargains are all made and we can walk
Together through the shops and stalls and markets
Free in the oriental streets of thought.
O you are not lying in the wet clay,
For it is harvest evening now and we
Are piling up the ricks against the moonlight
And you smile up at us — eternally.

By: Patrick Kavanagh

In Memory of My Mother

I do not think of you lying in the wet clay
Of a Monaghan graveyard; I see
You walking down a lane among the poplars
On your way to the station, or happily Going to second Mass on a summer Sunday–
You meet me and you say:
‘Don’t forget to see about the cattle–‘
Among your earthiest words the angels stray.
And I think of you walking along a headland
Of green oats in June,
So full of repose, so rich with life–
And I see us meeting at the end of a town on a fair day by accident,
after the bargains are all made and we can walk
Together through the shops and stalls and markets
Free in the oriental streets of thought.
O you are not lying in the wet clay,
For it is harvest evening now and we
Are piling up the ricks against the moonlight
And you smile up at us — eternally.

By: Patrick Kavanagh

The Reader

Virginia Woolf:

I have sometimes dreamt, at least, that when the Day of Judgement dawns and the great conquerors and lawyers and statesmen come to receive their rewards – their crowns, their laurels, their names carved indelibly upon imperishable marble – the Almighty will turn to Peter and will say, not without a certain envy when He sees us coming with our books under our arms, ‘Look, these need no reward. We have nothing to give them here. They have loved reading.’

“The Second Common Reader”

The Second Kick of The Mule

With a semester under my belt, only slightly the worse for wear, and with a few days of recuperation behind me, it is time, again, to look forward. Next Monday will see the start of Maymester, the short, intense two week period where students take one course, meet every day for four hours, and try to cover, and learn, the material of a semester. In the spirit of Admiral Farragut, I charge ahead, regardless of the consequences, into the world of upper level English. Perhaps brainwashed is too strong, but it is fair to say that, in a moment of weakness, I fell for the call of the Sirens. Unlike Ulysses, there is nothing to prevent my destruction on the rocks besides my native strength and determination. Having learnt that my love of reading and writing is not always equal to the task of having to write and read, I face the possibility of much hard work. But it is from that process of “having to do” that much can learned. Thus the decision, and thus the edginess of thought that accompanies the understanding of a difficult road ahead.

It’s nice to be on edge.

The Last Day of Classes

Classes are over! Exams are next! Then, 10 glorious days of rest, relaxation, golf, and re-familiarization with my wife before we start all over again.

In honor of the occasion, a little Hamlet:

What is a man,
If his chief good and market of his time
Be but to sleep and feed? a beast, no more.
Sure he that made us with such large discourse,
Looking before and after, gave us not
That capability and godlike reason
To fust in us unus’d (4.5.35-41).

Hamlet didn’t have to write two papers in one weekend, and then study for some difficult exams.

Hamlet vs Haggard

Writing the Hamlet paper. As I think about, and try to put into my words, Hamlet’s lamentation of his condition, Merle Haggard sings softly in the background.

Says Hamlet:

I have of late – but wherefore I know not, – lost all my mirth, forgone all custom of exercises; and, indeed, it goes so heavily with my disposition that this goodly frame, the earth, seems to me a sterile promontory….
What a piece of work is Man…
And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me…

Says Merle Haggard:

Wishing all these old things were new…

Ahhh, the human condition.


“Life’s hard, son. It’s harder when you’re stupid.” — The Duke.

Education is a companion which no misfortune can depress, no crime can destroy, no enemy can alienate,no despotism can enslave. At home, a friend, abroad, an introduction, in solitude a solace and in society an ornament.It chastens vice, it guides virtue, it gives at once grace and government to genius. Without it, what is man? A splendid slave, a reasoning savage. - Joseph Addison
The term informavore (also spelled informivore) characterizes an organism that consumes information. It is meant to be a description of human behavior in modern information society, in comparison to omnivore, as a description of humans consuming food. George A. Miller [1] coined the term in 1983 as an analogy to how organisms survive by consuming negative entropy (as suggested by Erwin Schrödinger [2]). Miller states, "Just as the body survives by ingesting negative entropy, so the mind survives by ingesting information. In a very general sense, all higher organisms are informavores." - Wikipedia

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