0091 The Scholar - A Dutch Portrait Poem by Michael Shepherd

0091 The Scholar - A Dutch Portrait

Rating: 2.5

The scholar, in his book-lined study, sits,
walled in by printed thought in black and white;
silent; by a pool of lamplight lit;
now still in reading, or now drawn to write;

inaudible, the music of his mind,
invisible, that dazzling light, his thought;
unknown, the destiny of human kind;
unwrit, the future glories to be sought;

he like a human hour-glass: single grains
passing into future mind from past;
and in his presence, all Creation reigns,
the history of the world from first to last.

this secret glory, scholars are allowed;
so fragile; mortal; subtle; noble; proud.

Sandra Fowler 07 November 2005

The poem has music and depth of meaning. It is a portrait well painted in words. Keep up the good work!

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Vidyanjali V 31 October 2005

I remember reading this poem called The Scholar by Robert Southey. Its quite different from your poem, but the thing abt lasting long and being relevant for future generations are mentioned there as well. 'My hopes are with the Dead; anon My place with them will be, And I with them shall travel on Through all Futurity; Yet leaving here a name, I trust, That will not perish in the dust. '

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Vidyanjali V 31 October 2005

I know...Now I get it! Art outlives its creator for sure so a scholar's wisdom must be rightfully passed down to posterity and live long. And please, forgive me if I am a bit slow with catching up on meanings. I am new to poetry reading and have written more than what I have read... Frankly speaking I find it easier to write poetry than read them. It is like entering the mind of another-an unknown and unfamiliar realm. Would be nice if you could give me some tips on how to read a poem, pls.! !

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Michael Shepherd 31 October 2005

Yes, V V - but he's distilling the essence of past wisdom with discrimination, to pass it on to future generations - that what scholarship should be about? Don't poets, too, hope for this, beyond the acclaim of their peers?

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Vidyanjali V 31 October 2005

Reading this, the lines of Keats came to my mind.. 'Heard melodies are sweet but those unheard are sweeter.' If your poem is inspired by some portrait, then you must sure be another Keats to conjure up the image of a scholar in his study so well. I liked the expression of the hourglass. Brilliantly employed! And yes mortal, because all bookish knowledge have their purposes only on earth. It is time-bound for sure.

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Michael Shepherd

Michael Shepherd

Marton, Lancashire
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