A new poem by alumnus Ross White (poetry, ’08) appeared on Poetry Daily, Saturday, November 23, 2013.
Ross’s poem originally appeared in the current issue of New England Review (Vol. 34, #2), which also features work by alumnus Cody Heartz (poetry, ’13), and faculty members Laura Kasischke, Dana Levin, and Megan Staffel.
Quae Nocent Saepe Docent
My bow-legs crossed, I sat before someone I thought the great teacher.
His whole body a fist, he said, “Pain is the great teacher.”
As sun rejects moon, as water rejects fire, one must reject a notion first
if one is ever to embrace it. The flower of denial, perhaps, the great teacher?
I wandered the museums of terra cotta soldiers and the mansions
of silence. I asked the ronin where I might find the great teacher.
I sent my dream-self to the rounded hovels at the edge of imagination.
I asked all the creatures in the dreaming where I might find the great teacher.
I learned to see the world through the eye of a needle, to shape sticks,
to sing mourning songs. I thought myself the envy of the great teacher.
But stone grew around my feet, and held me fast as I became stone.
Then I believed for some years that humility was the great teacher…
Read the rest of the poem online at Poetry Daily.