Monday, August 23, 2010

Flower No More

While passing through London a decade or so ago, in another life, I passed by a brick wall with a blue door in it. A brass plaque which I only barely noticed at first informed me that this was where Dylan Thomas had lived. The late, great Welsh bard has always been one of my favourite poets. Here's something from him; it's the last stanza of his And Death Shall Have No Dominion:

And death shall have no dominion.
No more may gulls cry at their ears
Or waves break loud on the seashores;
Where blew a flower may a flower no more
Lift its head to the blows of the rain;
Though they be mad and dead as nails,
Heads of the characters hammer through daisies;
Break in the sun till the sun breaks down,
And death shall have no dominion.

Some days, I feel like saying, "Where taught a teacher may a teacher no more / Lift his head to the blows of the rain..." — I feel sometimes as if I had been dead for years, lost, mad, dead as nails, with my toes turned up to the daisies and my typewriter keyboard breaking into the light of heaven.

Some days, I miss my classroom intensely. I think, I dream, I hallucinate. Did I ever teach in a classroom? Did I have students who enjoyed the experience? Or was it all something like the good part of the dream before it descends into nightmare?

But death shall have no dominion, and I shall end this short post with another quotation from the word-hoard of that mighty voice:

And I must enter again the round
Zion of the water bead
And the synagogue of the ear of corn
Shall I let pray the shadow of a sound
Or sow my salt seed
In the least valley of sackcloth to mourn

Only Dylan Thomas (and perhaps, Geoffrey Hill) could take the pieces of the Book and make them tell their story in such a different way, but yet as true.

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3 Comments:

Blogger slotusch said...

... this post is written in a most melancholy way... few have even a fraction of this passion for teaching... you really should be back in the classroom.. : (

Monday, August 23, 2010 4:24:00 pm  
Blogger LoneRifle said...

This student certainly remembers his experiences fondly. Except the time when I botched my KI/KMnO4 titration when you asked me to have more guts and increase the burette flow.

Monday, August 23, 2010 8:29:00 pm  
Blogger Trebuchet said...

slotusch: yes, I really should be. :(

LR: you've never let me forget it! :)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010 4:09:00 am  

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