Helen Keller

Well, I finished my reading from the ESV Daily Reading Bible, which my lovely wife gave me for Christmas (about 10 minutes before I popped the question).  I had planned on starting through the Bible in a year, after I finished Isaiah. But I was inspired.

So, Laura and I are starting today.

We’re leaving for north-eastern Alabama in about 10 minutes, and I’m not taking my computer.

Here’s a poem for today (I feel like I should say that in a monotone, NPR sounding voice, a la Garrison Keillor).

It’s called “Helen Keller” (I’ve posted it before, on my old ghetto blog, but it’s greatly modified since then):

My Latin professor in undergrad
was a large, ruddy-brown-skinned
Bronx-raised Italian.
She drank coffee all day,
and all class,
which stimulated her soap-boxing
about politics,
and how students wouldn’t memorize paradigms,
and how much she loved the Stanford library.

And in between these impromptu
lectures, she would
sometimes teach grammar
and syntax and parsing.

One class lecture,
she started again—
“I believe”—she said boldly, in that tone,
which is meant to give goose bumps—
“that if I truly believed,
I could jump out that window and fly.”

She called as proof,
Helen Keller,
of see-no-evil, hear-no-evil fame;                                                                                                           and how Helen believed herself into
so many things,
such was the degree
of her self-achieved greatness.

I was pudgy and shy then, in my
young-twenties,
commuting to school and not saying much. .

So I surpised myself, when
I squeaked out a retort,
my cheeks going flush;
my professor looked shocked and
asked me to repeat myself.
Then she stared at me, muted;
When I said again, louder:
“I said,” my voice almost cracked,
“She couldn’t make herself see.”

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About Danny Slavich

I am a Christian husband, father, pastor, and poet. I lead Pembroke Road Baptist Church a multi-cultural, multi-generational church in urban South Florida.
This entry was posted in Poetry, Scripture, Writing. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Helen Keller

  1. dad says:

    I love this.
    I did the first time you posted it an still do.
    It cuts to the quick…quickly.

    Great stuff.

  2. dslavich says:

    Thanks Dad.

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