I begin with Shakespeare

Commencement Address: Class of Every Year
September 13, 2012
Pie in the Sky
September 24, 2012

I begin with Shakespeare, his skies painted with unnumbered sparks
And I convene a tea with Whitman time-a-day, as brother spirits sipping;
Wherethen I gallop by the inquest of the Luther, man of mad believing
And with one Dante lurk atop the gallows that soon below will hang me—

But if I cannot play the good that scores me from the first,
What sorry lot am I?

A mess of men before that have me at a rhyme—that’s what!
A cavalcade of trumpeters that set the heart ablaze;
A supper-full of prophets propheting the Grace;
And will-full someones something always doing—

Fie! And I, the nothing tempest, limp and lazy by.
Too careful for a lighting crash, too thoughtful for a cry.
While through the quake of quietude, come greatness, wide and high—

But me—the constant poet, son, and subject—
What sorry lot am I!




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