An Old Man’s Thought of School

…from the quills of the dead white poets

Walt Whitman (1819 – 1892)

 

An old man’s thought of school,

An old man gathering youthful memories and blooms that youth itself cannot.

Now only do I know you,

O fair auroral skies – O morning dew upon the grass!

And these I see, these sparkling eyes,

These stories of mystic meaning, these young lives,

Building, equipping like a fleet of ships, immortal ships,

Soon to sail out over the measureless seas,

On the soul’s voyage.

Only a lot of boys and girls?

Only the tiresome spelling, writing, ciphering classes?

Only a public school?

And more, infinitely more;

(As George Fox rais’d his warning cry, ‘Is it this pile of brick and mortar, these dead floors, windows, rails, you call the church?

Why this is not the church at all – the church is living, ever living souls.’)

And you America,

Cast you the real reckoning for your present?

The lights and shadows of your future, good or evil?

To girlhood, boyhood look, the teacher and the school.

About Paul Jacko

Jacko was born in Czechoslovakia not long before the communist putsch in February 1948. He studied industrial chemistry there and left in 1969 for Australia, where he became a lawyer and established his own practice. He has now retired and beside hunting, fishing, camping, prospecting and playing golf he amuses himself by writing.
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