Friday, December 01, 2006


Every now and then I get a poem dropped into my inbox by The Wondering Minstrels. It's a lovely distraction and it reminds me to read poetry. Anyway, I thought this one was particularly good and pertinent to this household since Martin and I are both studying, and Martin wants to be a teacher when he grows up (which apparently doesn't happen till he's about 37).

Did I Miss Anything

Question frequently asked by
students after missing a class

Nothing. When we realized you weren't here
we sat with our hands folded on our desks
in silence, for the full two hours

Everything. I gave an exam worth
40 per cent of the grade for this term
and assigned some reading due today
on which I'm about to hand out a quiz
worth 50 per cent

Nothing. None of the content of this course
has value or meaning
Take as many days off as you like:
any activities we undertake as a class
I assure you will not matter either to you or me
and are without purpose

Everything. A few minutes after we began last time
a shaft of light descended and an angel
or other heavenly being appeared
and revealed to us what each woman or man must do
to attain divine wisdom in this life and
the hereafter
This is the last time the class will meet
before we disperse to bring this good news to all people
on earth

Nothing. When you are not present
how could something significant occur?

Everything. Contained in this classroom
is a microcosm of human existence
assembled for you to query and examine and ponder
This is not the only place such an opportunity has been

but it was one place

And you weren't here

-- Tom Wayman

I lost all the formatting when I pasted this in and Blogger (bad bad blogger) won't ler me put it back in - oh my god, how antipoetry. My apologies to Tom Wayman who I am sure is an avid reader of Eglantines Cake. The title is a link to how the poem appears on Tom's website. There are some more of his poems there if you are feeling poem-y. I have to go and wrap Christmas presents - Fred is having a close encounter with Claus tomorrow.

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