The lecture: A Poem
I’m counting down the lectures I’ll never give again. Last week it was “Christabel,” Coleridge’s weird Gothic fragment. Did he really have a thing about lesbian sex? Before that, why Malvolio being treated as mad is appropriate as well as cruel: an idea I had forty-five years ago in Hong Kong, smoking through the night.… The post The lecture: A Poem appeared first on VoegelinView.

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I’m counting down the lectures
I’ll never give again. Last week
it was “Christabel,” Coleridge’s
weird Gothic fragment. Did he really
have a thing about lesbian sex?
Before that, why Malvolio being treated
as mad is appropriate as well as cruel:
an idea I had forty-five years ago
in Hong Kong, smoking through the night.
Soon it’ll be a Borgesian reading of “The Rime
of the Ancient Mariner.” Another old idea,
but much better than the trippy essay on which
my tutor wrote: “Mindless mind-expansion!
Don’t do this again.” Most lecturers become
Ancient Mariners in the end, a bit of a bore,
our once smart thought “a huge variety
of all the same,” as an old friend put it.
The technology’s an ever-freshening hell
I shan’t regret. The students, I shall.
Those unlined faces, half-listening, half-
lost in thoughts of what now, what next,
surreptitiously opening a screen, sending
a text. Well, they’re hungry, and it’s their world.

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