A POEM YOU DO NOT WANT TO MISS!
Howard Nemerov's TO DAVID, ABOUT HIS EDUCATION
STUDENTS RELATE TO HOWARD'S POEM... most of the stuff he wrote is what they experience in school.
TO DAVID, ABOUT HIS EDUCATION
The world is full of mostly invisible things,
And there is no way but putting the mind’s eye,
Or its nose, in a book, to find them out,
Things like the square root of Everest
Or how many times Byron goes into Texas,
Or whether the law of the excluded middle
Applies west of the Rockies. For these
And the like reasons, you have to go to school
And study books and listen to what you are told,
And sometimes try to remember. Though I don’t know
What you will do with the mean annual rainfall
On Plato’s Republic, or the calorie content
Of the Diet of Worms, such things are said to be
Good for you, and you will have to learn them
In order to become one of the grown-ups
Who sees invisible things neither steadily nor whole,
But keeps gravely the grand confusion of the world
Under his hat, which is where it belongs,
And teaches small children to do this in their turn.
Who is this man that thinks students learn useless facts? No, it is not Bill Clinton...it is Howard!
Howard Nemerov was born in New York City on February 29, 1920 which is a leap day so this made him special. He was raised in a sophisticated Russian Jewish family. He attended the Society for Ethical Culture's Fieldston School and was an outstanding student. He went on to Havard University where he was Bowdoin Essayist. Howard served in both the Royal Canadian Air Force and US Army Air Force during WWII. He later married and lived in New York City. Howard wrote many collections of poems including: Trying Conclusions: New and Selected Poems, 1961-1991; The Collected Poems of Howard Nemerov , which won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the Bollingen Prize; The Winter Lightning: Selected Poems; Mirrors and Windows; The Salt Garden; and The Image of the Law. He died July 5, 1991. To learn more about Howard Nemerov visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howard_Nemerov