Sunday, January 16, 2011

Mag 48 - The English Professor



She wore khaki skirts that hit her boots mid-calf
and soft white sweaters accented with bold beads.
Her accent was from Boston but she had worked to
subdue it, and her voice was velvety, her words were pearls.
So every class was a thing of beauty.

It was autumn and she said: Leave your things and follow me!
Eighteen freshmen followed her outside onto the quad,
where she stopped in front of the oldest building and said:
Tell me what you see. We mentioned old bricks, ivy, a bicycle.
More, she urged. Search deeply.

We then described bricks the color of sangria and some
carnelian, some cracked and chipped, all proudly in place.
Ivy resolute, dusty in the sun. The powder-blue bicycle chained
to an old oak, initials carved into the bark in 1923. A ladybug
moving clumsily on lichen, a crow calling from a branch above,
the release of crow droppings into drying grass right beside
a rusty pocket knife. One blade open pointing to five concrete
steps down to a utility basement with a mustard-hued door.
Trapped there in shadows, wedged against cold angles,
the remnant of aged sheet music.

Excellent! said our professor. Do not miss 
the symphony of your lives.

MLydiaM ~ January 2011

  
Visit Magpie Tales to read how over a hundred other writers reacted to the photo prompt above.


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23 comments:

madamebutterfly said...

We all need to look for and hold onto the music in our souls Lydia - the Professor is right, look for it in everyday things.

Helen said...

A lesson for the ages ... beautifully written.

izzy said...

Yup teaching them to see with heart and spirit! good piece! Thanks-

mythopolis said...

I like this a lot. A story implies a story behind it. The deeper you go, the more bottomless it is, and suddenly, life is knowledge, and knowledge is the source of mystery. Life becomes a symphony. The rhythm of our swaying on the dance floor. Beneath the disco ball. In some cosmic labyrinth. In the basement of the unfathomable. When the music stops, so will I.

Jinksy said...

Eyes see music the ears can't hear...

nothingprofound said...

The music is all around-you just have to stop and listen.

Theodore Daniel Richards said...

Well...I only have one thing to say.

That's damn good writing.

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

wow - just wow. You have a great way of describing things

"Her accent was from Boston but she had worked to
subdue it, and her voice was velvety, her words were pearls.
So every class was a thing of beauty." - very effective picture

Nita Jo said...

Beautiful piece! I just discovered Magpie Tales. I look forward to reading more of your work.

Fireblossom said...

Open you eyes, class! ;-)

La Belette Rouge said...

Gorgeous. Your work creates such strong visual images. And I wonder why would anyone want to lose a Bostonian accent? I love a good accent. And I love where prompts take you. I am TERRIBLE at writing prompts.
xo

Lydia said...

madame butterfly~ I agree that it is so important, and ultimately rewarding.

Helen~ Oh, I do appreciate that.

izzy~ Thanks much for your comment.

mythopolis~ You comment was a poem itself. Love that last line especially.

Jinksy~ That is beautiful. A wonderful quote!

nothingprofound~ Absolutely. Thank you for stopping here today.

Theodore~ Well, wow, thank you!

Pixies~ Thank you. It was an interesting exercise to draw her in my mind after so many years. I have never forgotten her taking the class outside, as it was one of those quiet life-changing events for me. But I had not visualized her for many years.

Nita Jo~ Thank you for being here! I know the excitement of discovering Magpie Tales; I came in mid-way and was so thrilled with the prompts and the community. Look forward to visiting you.

Fireblossom~ Yes! Great teacher...I wonder where she is now.

Belette Rouge~ I appreciate that so much. :)
I have no idea whether or not she wanted to lose her accent. In my memory it was still detectable, but softened. I too love accents, some more than others, with Boston being way up toward the top.

Tess Kincaid said...

These kinds of teachers are like rare jewels. Beautiful, inspiring piece, Lydia.

bfk said...

Nicely written, Lydia. Spot on description—as you can imagine it's easy for me to visualize—and deftly structured to the coda.

Darlene said...

What a lovely descriptive poem. I am impressed with the beauty of it and of the message therein.

M Riyadh Sharif said...

Wonderful Aunt! For a moment I lost myself into your story! Excellent! xo

Lydia said...

Tess~ Many thanks...for your comment and for another marvelous prompt. I don't know how you do it but you never disappoint!

bfk~ Ah, yes, the hallowed halls....
Thanks so much for the meaningful comments.

Darlene~ What lovely comments coming from a musician. :)

Riyadh~ You said excellent just like the teacher did! Thanks for being lost here for a little while.

Doc FTSE said...

This is a very perceptive piece of writing, thought-provoking as well as poetic. Thank you.

And thank you for the comment you left on my Magpie poem. I'm still wondering whether it really merited such kindness.

annell said...

Well done! So beautiful!

Mary said...

Really enjoyed your Magpie prompt and the images and message shared. A beautiful piece, well written.

Lydia said...

Doc FTSE~ I appreciate your kind comment. And, most definitely, your poem merited my comments and more!

annell~ Thank you so much!

Mary~ Thank you for reading and taking a moment to comment. Much appreciated. The Mapgie photo prompts are presented by Tess Kincaid at Magpie Tales, which is linked at the end of my post. She has something magic every week for us to write about. :)

Jennifer said...

Love this -- it's so vivid and colorful. I am so glad you are writing poetry.

I stop by periodically, though haven't been commenting lately. Please know that I am here, often silent. :)

Lydia said...

Jennifer~ Many thanks for the comment and for letting me know you have been/are here. My visits to your blog have been silent lately, also. I wonder if it has anything to do with communicating more on Facebook... :)

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