This is a poem I wrote tonight in reflection on Dr. Miller's class on the History of Higher Education. It is a work in progress, I'm not sure how to end it, but I thought I'd offer it here. Enjoy.
I’m getting this sneaking suspicion
That I’m a character in a story
That I have not written
And that I cannot tell
But in broken snippets here and there.
Is the writer benevolent?
Or, is the writer still alive?
It could be that some power
Set it in motion and has, subsequently,
In history disappeared.
If the writer,
Still writing the assumption stands,
Where do I fit in that benevolence?
It is only the addition of one letter
And one space
That makes it mean
Every story has an end,
A goal towards which every action
What is my end, or the end?
When we get there,
Will what I have done,
Will what I have left undone,
It is possible
That I am not supposed to be aware
Of my storied existence.
Did the writer write the writ
That I should be thusly educated?
Or was it an act of my free will?
If the story has a predetermined ending,
Does my will exert any force
Or does it just follow previously laid out
It’s a funny progress
And frightening as well.
But forward somehow it moves
With every clock tick tocking away.
Is it my place to retell the story?
To subvert the storyteller en route
To their ending—to guide it to my own
Even the language I speak
The writer must know
And not only know,
But must give to me.
But how can I act freely
If I cannot even determine
The words I use or what they mean?
I’m getting the sneaking suspicion,
That all I’ve known needs reorientation,
To orient again, to face more east than before.
That maybe ‘respect’ is a fundamental thing.
Maybe I’m an unknowing actor,
Given from ages past an unfinished script,
Which I adlib
Freedom lays here
Within limits I choose not.
And applause lays at the end,
Not of my character’s exit stage left,
But of curtain dropping.
In the meantime,
We wait from the writer’s promptings
To show us how to act
To assuage our grief at forgotten lines
To calm our captivated emotions.