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Thursday, January 28, 2016

A Take on My 72nd Birthday

If you could go back to school to learn anything what subject would you choose? Why? (Serendipity Bible Fourth Edition, page 623).

Yesterday, January 27th, was my 72nd birthday.  Connie and I celebrated at PoFolks where I ordered double-portion fried chicken and turnip greens. One way to assess my attitude at this juncture in my life is to ask the question-“If you could go back to school to learn anything what subject would you choose?”  For me that is an easy question and is answered by territory where I’ve traveled before.  At 72 I would like to study “Poetry that Blows the Top of Your Head Off.” And that’s literally the course title I would like to enroll in.  It would include familiar lines from Dickinson and Yeats, but would include for me unfamiliar territory like Aeschylus.   I don’t want dainty appetizers and preliminaries,  just give me substance–the  main course.


Snake (by Emily Dickinson)

A narrow fellow in the grass
Occasionally rides;
You may have met him, -did you not?
His notice sudden is.

The grass divides as with a comb,
A spotted shaft is seen;
And then it closes at your feet
And opens further on.

He likes a boggy acre,
A floor too cool for corn.
Yet when a child, and barefoot,
I more than once, at morn,

Have passed, I thought, a whip-lash
Unbraiding in the sun, - 
When, stooping to secure it,
It wrinkled, and was gone.

Several of nature's people
I know, and they know me;
I feel for them a transport
Of cordiality;

But never met this fellow,
Attended or alone,
Without a tighter breathing,
And zero at the bone.


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