Poetry Friday: To David, About His Education

May 13th, 2011

To David, About His Education

By  Howard Nemerov
The world is full of mostly invisible things,
And there is no way but putting the mind’s eye,
Or its nose, in a book, to find them out,
Things like the square root of Everest
Or how many times Byron goes into Texas,
Or whether the law of the excluded middle
Applies west of the Rockies. For these
And the like reasons, you have to go to school
And study books and listen to what you are told,
And sometimes try to remember. Though I don’t know
What you will do with the mean annual rainfall
On Plato’s Republic, or the calorie content
Of the Diet of Worms, such things are said to be
Good for you, and you will have to learn them
In order to become one of the grown-ups
Who sees invisible things neither steadily nor whole,
But keeps gravely the grand confusion of the world
Under his hat, which is where it belongs,
And teaches small children to do this in their turn.

Entry Filed under: Poetry Friday

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Mary Lee  |  May 15th, 2011 at 6:44 am

    True. So true.

    But today, I will go out walking in the woods with the student who won my “Time with Teacher” in the Carnapalooza raffle, and with his friend, and I will deliberately point out some of the grandness of the natural world, which I hope will take up a large space under their future hat…perhaps canceling or at least tempering the grand confusions they’re taught to keep there.

  • 2. friday feast: poetry frid&hellip  |  October 18th, 2011 at 11:30 am

    […] You Hear When You Read Silently”) 11. Debbie Diller (“Wind on the Hill”) 12. The Stenhouse Blog (“To David, About His Education”) 13. Robyn Hood Black (Book Spine Poem, Writing with Mrs. Mirabel) 14. Alice@Supratentorial (A Sock […]

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