The old man is back – with poetry!

In the year and a half since I last posted here, I have arranged my life so it is insanely more hectic but absolutely the same as it was.

Today I posted on Facebook after a quiz about the NCAA rules governing our work required semesterly for all tutors in the center where I work (if you’re awake, you realize it’s a university athletic academic center; if you’re not awake, it doesn’t matter). I failed the quiz (after tutoring there for five years), and my comment on Facebook was, “Here’s the deal: Senescence is now the excuse for the ditzyness that has always been my lot in life.”

I have no idea (my neurologist has tried many times to explain it, to no avail) why one’s brain does what it does – or doesn’t do what it doesn’t do – when one reaches age 74. It never entered my mind that my father’s brain was slowing down when he was 74, but then he had never been ditzy like me, so I don’t suppose it’s a fair comparison. He lived to age 97, so I have some apprehension and/or intrigue about the role of genetics in longevity — but apparently not in ditzyness.

If you’re paying attention, you will know instantly that either ditzyness or simple ordinary lack of logic and mental discipline is my lot in life. None of the above follows anything like a line of reasoning or rhetorical cohesion. That’s OK with me because I’ll bet anyone who reads this can follow it with no trouble at all.

One of the ways I’ve arranged my life to be more insanely hectic than it used to be is that I am trying to learn to write decent poetry. I’ve been taking classes with an up-and-coming poet, Dr. Ashley “Mag” Gabbert (who teaches at the institution where I tutor). I have immersed myself in poetry, and I try to write a few lines of something resembling the poetic every day.

Most surprising about this new discipline is that DO read ten poems every day. Well, nearly every day. And I have found some favorite poets. One of them is Christian Barter. I decided it’s ridiculous to post printed poems here (or anywhere). The music of poetry may be (at least for me) its most important quality. So I’ve taken to reading and recording poetry. I’m going to make this old man blog into a poetry blog. (I’ve posted some of my poems here in the past – long before I began to study writing poetry. Don’t bother with them.) Some days I’m going to read poetry instead of copying the words. These readings are virtually unrehearsed, certainly not staged. Sitting at my desk, no special lighting or wardrobe, made with my phone. Just me reading some poetry.

Today I begin — the poem is “The Final Movement of a Late Quartet,” by Christian Barter. “On Beethoven’s Opus 131 in C-sharp minor.” (The teacher in me wants you to find one of the recordings of the Beethoven Quartet and listen to it.)

Here’s Barter’s poem. (I don’t know why the video looks like I’m lying down. When you click on it, WordPress lets me sit up straight.)

 

 

 

 

 

About Harold Knight
Retired English prof, SMU. Old man. Musician. Passionate about justice, equality, freedom. Therefore, I am a fervent supporter of and advocate for the Palestinian People as they struggle to survive genocide. That also means, of course, I have no use for US 45.

2 Responses to The old man is back – with poetry!

  1. Bob Ritzema says:

    Welcome back! Sounds like a good plan for the blog. Studying and writing poetry is an unusual way to make life hectic! Looking forward to future posts.

  2. David R. Graham says:

    Harold, I came across your site looking for a link for Dr. Spelman. I was two years, I think, ahead of you at Redlands. I wanted a Spelman link for the following post of mine, just posted, and included yours on him as well as another, which goes to a Getty image:

    https://theological-geography.net/?p=40567

    If you have obit or career links for Leslie P., may I have them, to be included on the foregoing post?

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