If “love is a credulous thing”
And “cannot be cured by herbs”
Then gentle Wisdom, help me sing
Of the folly in your proverbs.
If “beauty is truth, truth beauty”
And that is all I need to know,
Then I shall sift through the acuity
Of love’s stuttering staccato.
If “hope is the thing with feathers”
And love knows no bounds
Then I willingly keep the tethers
Of your soulful words and sounds.
Today is the culmination of all the papers, projects, journals, tests, quizzes, reading assignments, multiple choice practice tests, lectures, PowerPoints, group assignments, presentations, timed-writes, right down to the last homework assignment. My students have put in countless hours of reading and writing for this class. This preparation was not simply for the AP exam. This was not just some academic exercise. This preparation was done to expand their minds, to take them to places they have never been before, to grapple with life’s complex questions, to practice the art of thinking critically and deeply, to connect with humanity from the past and present, to take part in the global conversation about life, and to share in the pain and the splendor of all that life has to offer. This exploration of the mind through literature is aptly expressed in Emily Dickinson’s poem:
There is no Frigate like a Book
To take us Lands away
Nor any Coursers like a Page
Of prancing Poetry –
This Traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of Toll –
How frugal is the Chariot
That bears the Human Soul –
My thoughts and prayers go out to my wonderful students today as they take their AP test.