Wednesday, November 2, 2016

recent scholarship

The Humaniad

---- a fragment
In those green lamented days of wisdom’s reign
When one was anxious to use one’s brain
And plans were laid in clear and common air
And one gave counsel in quad and on the stair
What was broken and amiss communally to repair,
Our fathers left behind their weekend ease
And gave birth to the Humanities.
From the first as good as it was strong
(All right, some of the lectures were too long)
It went from strength to strength for forty years.
New professor learned, and quelled their fears.
Graduating seniors dried their tears.
For whatever erred was communally made right,
And points were scored against encroaching Night,
And those that bitched the most as freshman
Would, at the finish, cry “Amen!”
Then arose one B_________ from the ruins of dead Rome,
And though he might have left the excellent alone,
Decided under protection of the Dark.
How he might most woundingly affix his mark.
So with a sly covert Satanic thrill
He gathered about him the weak in will
Who imagined his approval was their chance
Through the maze of Academia to advance.
“Let us,” said he, “Scorn all erudition
“And bring all that’s mediocre to fruition.
“Let us put everything we need on line–
“Research? Prepare a class? Who has the time?--
“For anything you really do not know
“there must be a snappy video.
“Scholarship, Discipleship, Mentorship? Oh please.
“The time’s too short for any one of these.
“And instead of pedagogy I’d like
“That much more time to ride my bike.”
Then spake he to his dark-of-night cabal,
“Behold how the gods of sloth we appease
“By making our curriculum such a breeze
“It can be taught by anyone at all.
“No need to know what came after and what before,
“Or who did what that led to what. It’s such a bore.
“And anyone who still possesses determination
“that students leave this course with actual information,“Shall be, summarily and harsh–O hark!--
“cast into the outer dark.
“Let us exile the excellent, that we
“Might flourish in our Mediocrity.
“It’s universal truth: each Creon is
“Anxious to be rid of his Tiresias.
Then uprose the mighty chairman from this throne
Heeding his creatures and them alone,
Until, on the blackest of black nights–

Here the manuscript is lost----

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