Old Professor Of Literature
2018 03 21
Surrounded by dozens of family friends
and former students he taught many years,
the retired professor of literature
relaxes in stuffed armchair by the hearth
and puffs tobacco in curved wooden pipe
while contemplating movie of his life.
"I taught the arcane art of literature
and writing poetry for forty years
at this ivy-league university,
founded by my ancestor, Thomas Dudley,
to generations of eager young students,
teaching them the power of creative writing
to present visions on nature of life.
Yet after all this work teaching young minds
I retire in obscurity of fame,
unknown and forgotten by society,
as if I were some old leather work glove
discarded after years of faithful service."
Sipping glass of Rioja wine from Spain,
the eminent doctor of literature
gazes around at eyes watching him speak.
"Rather than suffer anguish and distress
at my failure to achieve success,
with people proclaiming art I create
expresses complex concepts about life
and therefore proves the genius of my mind,
I make it part of my life narrative
that people cannot recognize my greatness
because their ideas about great art
are simple and out-dated modes of thought.
I cannot control how people view me,
but I can control actions I perform
and words I speak to express point of view,
and above all I can control the art
I create through the gestures of my hands,
organizing words in lithe sentences
by typing letters on computer keyboard
that capture well the visions in my mind
so readers see the same visions I dream
that analyze flow of cause and effect
through dramatic process of human actions
which narrates great arc of historic games
that prove complex ontology of truth
I designed from my research into facts.
As the poet I create visions of life
that accurately describe human nature
in relation to the world we perceive.
Ignoring the opinions of the crowd,
who clamor for the simple narrative
where good people fight and defeat bad people,
I tell stories of people, who are both
good and bad, exploring nature of life
to understand force of cause and effect
that results from chemical interactions
of atoms forming geometric structures
through process of construction and destruction
so we can establish rules of morality
defining what actions are good or bad
that guide our behavior in situations
that threaten the existence of our souls."
Pausing to puff tobacco in his pipe,
the professor listens for nodding murmurs
attesting to the truth of his assertions,
then continues contemplating the mystery.
"We want to replicate our genes in children
who will live beyond the death of our bodies,
so we stay alert for dangerous forces
in nature, animals, or hostile people
who threaten to enslave us to their will
to exploit our labor for their own gain,
or kill us to obtain land where we live
and control resources of food and water
we manage to sustain life of our souls,
so we fight to defend our way of life
against people who threaten our existence.
All things are structures of material
that we manipulate to produce food
which sustains chemical process of life,
so we design machines from wood and metal
that assist our work of producing food
so we can feed more children of our bodies
who dwell inside protective walls we build
that forms haven of strong base citadel
where we manage the business of production
and plan more actions to control the land,
harvesting resources that we all share,
and organize all people in one project
where each person plays their vital role
to process functions of civilization
and educate our children to improve
good government of growing populations
who strive together within one world view."
Late evening sunlight slanting through the windows
illuminate the roofs of Cambridge town
as the professor of world literature
eloquently explains his firm world view.
"My failure to achieve success means nothing,
for I am but one lone individual
who dreams the vast and complicated world
from the limited view of my two eyes,
expressing one aspect of the diamond world,
so we all share the visions we perceive
and aggregate our views in one world view
that constructs complex ontology
to generate virtual model from words
that reflects the truth of our universe.
I hoped that I could, through my deep research,
design new ontology that explains
all opposing concepts scientists devise
in one grand theory of our universe
which could predict in simple formula
all functions of historical events.
I feel that I did succeed in my program
to present whole ontology of truth
because I see this grand vision of time
glowing complete in model of my mind
which organizes historical events
in one complete narrative of our lives,
but no one else will acknowledge my vision,
so my world view will vanish at my death
like the frail soap bubble that pops in air."
Gazing at the first star that twinkles bright
through the window of his home nearby Harvard,
the professor knocks ashes from his pipe,
and sighs like wind blowing from Rocky Mountains
just as his wife enters the room and smiles,
inviting them all to the dinner table.
Rising from his stuffed armchair by the hearth,
the old professor of world literature
lingers by the clear window of his soul
to gaze at the moon behind ragged clouds,
feeling the emptiness of his proud words,
then follows them in to eat the roast beef,
and they laugh as they talk of everything
while the world spins in the infinite void.
#Poem #Poetry #Harvard #University #ThomasDudley #Cambridge #Literature #WorldLiterature #Fame #Ontology #UnifiedTheory
@ellowrites @ellopoetry @ellopoems @ellobooks