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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Poet’s Corner: Thirteen Ways of Looking at an Essay

    I From brown paper bags We ate our lunches And feasted on orange deliberations.

    II I was of two minds Like the human species In which there are replicated opinions.

    III Among twenty students once, whirled one moving thing A free mind at play.

    IV A student and a teacher Are one. A student and a teacher and an essay Are one.

    V I do not pretend to know, But when I was a child I strolled through my mazy mind Not meant for barricades Or heroic landmarks.

    VI Now after polemics and praise, Education and reason, Sociopolitical play All conviction, to and fro, The essay finally turns To agree with Me.

    VII Agreement seduces agreement For the brief hour we give to it. We fall, we surrender. Skeptical rationalist, Advanced biochemist —Persuade me.

    VIII Never mind these noble accounts And capacities to coerce, Something else more Striking yet Catches our attention.

    IX An essayist unexpectedly Stumbles over a pair of Old blue boots.

    X A writer remembers when She last wore blue boots Twenty years ago On a trip to Paris.

    XI A poet stops to watch An old fellow sketching With a box of colored pencils At his side. Threads of a sunset, Like reins of a fairy cart.

    XII The sky is a grayish pink. The pencil wiggles over the writer’s sheet.

    XIII From one impression to another The mind meanders From reality to memory To dreamscape And back again.

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