Monday, September 1, 2008

The Seekers

In 1968, I spent an unforgettable summer studying at Oxford. It was the first time I had ever traveled to Europe, and I made the most of it: attending classes at the University, hopping the train to London for shopping, galleries & the theater, exploring Paris, Amsterdam, Bruges, Cologne, Trier. It was quite an adventure for a relatively sheltered, small town girl.

Our seminar was entitled "Uses of Imagery" and it included lectures on 17th and 18th century English Verse and an in-depth study of King Lear. We were registered as temporary readers at the Bodleian Library and had tutorials with our course instructors.

While cleaning out a storage loft this weekend, I discovered my notebook, still legible after 40 years. What caught my eye was not the pages of neatly written lecture summaries, but rather the poem I had composed to describe my fellow students. Where they are now, I wonder, and how have their lives played out?

The Seekers


Memories of Indiana
Served with tea and scones.
Upon arrival home - Chicago


Roman ruins
And Wren churches
But not people


Of the secret rebellion:
"You are not our dream."


Plantation daughter
Charmingly ignorant
Amazed by the existence
Of other traditions


The future teacher
Awaits a chance
To remember.


The world through
A wine bottle


Could not ease
The pain
Of questions
Left unanswered


Can money
Buy understanding?


Some desire darkness
And in
Not being tragic,

I wonder what they wrote about me?

"Oxford panorama" by Olly Boyo


doyle said...

I hope Polly sees this.
I want to meet Polly, a lot.

Would thoughts on a hard drive have lasted as long? I won't live long enough to know.

diane said...

Maybe you have met Polly and don't realize it ;-)

I also wonder about the durability of the trivia of our lives. An image of a book or fabric lacks tactile satisfaction.