Heave-Ho Maties, Cheerfully Sail Onward
35 – ANCHOR
Yet again, it pops up.
Carolyn Kizer, who won the Pulitzer Prize in 1985 for a collection of poems called Yin, died on October 9th, 2014.
In scrounging about for one of her poems I came across this one which made me laugh, reminding me of several people who held sway over my mind 14 to 15 years ago, and particularly one with the initials M.F., for whom I had quite an attachment, fortunately forgotten.
For more than thirty years we hadn’t met.
I remembered the bright query of your face,
That single-minded look,intense and stern,
Yet most important -how could I forget?-
Was what you taught me inadvertently
(tutored by books and parents, even more
By my own awe at what was yet to learn):
The finest intellect can be a bore.
At this, perhaps our final interview,
Still luminous with your passion to instruct,
You speak to that recalcitrant pupil who
Inhaled the chalk-dust of your rhetoric.
I nod, I sip my wine, I praise your view,
Grateful, my dear, that I escaped from you.
Never let another human patronize and proselytize to you, never feed their self-righteousness pedantry and self-satisfaction. That is no anchor, merely a storm that destroys your ship.
You are your own anchor, your own intellect, trust your intelligence and ability.