Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The End of Education

Getting ready for my Poetic Knowledge post  I found this poem by John Senior. It was contained in this very thoughtful paper by Dr Stephen McInerney called “The End of Education”: John Senior and the Idea of the University (it's a PDF).   There is some commentary on the poem in the paper.

The Other Window

Two letters in the morning post
dressed in blue and white.
Who can tell which smiles most
envelopes the day or night?

“Dear Alum: The College needs etc.”
and then the fiscal operative clause.
This Dean sees, looking out his front fenetre,
“Fighters for the Christian cause!”

Brave young leaders of tomorrow
in business, medicine and law.”
Conquistadors of sorrow
building all that golden prophecies foresaw.

…just a note that said,
“So sad, I hesitate to bother,
but Margaret, my fiancée, is dead
and I shall not recover.

I don’t expect your consolation.
All I want is that you know how hard
it is to live without sensation,
crawling towards my broken God.”

What is the end of education?
What really is the seed we teachers sow?
A crop of leaders for the Church and Nation,
or the one outside the back window?

Through Googling that poem, I found a blog called Life, Books and Education.   There is a great list of best books on education, on the sidebar.   And a blog post Covering Ground or Contemplation that seems to relate directly to some of our Poetic Knowledge discussion.    Don't you love finding a great blog by googling some obscure topic or quote?

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I would love to hear your thoughts on this!