So as promised, here is one of my dad’s [WARNING rabbit-hole alert, or digression, ahead: yeah, some author said you can tell a “better” — read WASP — person ’cause they say dad, not my dad. John le Carré gets weird about how women hold their elbows. Whatever.] poems. I will offer my opinion of it below, and would certainly invite yours — his spirit will purr at the attention. 🙂
What’s My Grade in Here?
I ate the words letter by letter
opened the briefcase and took out the folder of time
selected the topic with care
asked only the anticipated questions
turned in all the assignments
wiped the board and cleaned the erasers
turned out the lights
when there was discussion I listened
when there was no discussion I listened
when I didn’t understand I was never bored
when called upon I answered
– by L.W. Seeley, Jr. (1941-2006)
Me again. So, I’d change one word: the second “turned” in the first stanza could be “switched.” Also, he typed all his poems — or perhaps had them set by a very early word processing program — with the titles in all caps, before that came to mean SHOUTING ON THE INTERNET. So I’ve modified that style. Thus are editors and translators unwilling thieves, perhaps, but we do as we do.
But I can’t ask his opinion of these changes, and won’t make swaps in his words. I would have to travel in time to talk to my father about poetry as anything except one of the little girls at his knee. As I once was that, I must take the comfort I can from that. He gave me the world of poetry – thanks, dad. I owe you.