Michael Shepherd

Rookie (8.4.1929 / Marton, Lancashire)

! Hertes Academie (A Metaphysical Exercise) - Poem by Michael Shepherd

My mistress’ bedde, my wylling scholeroom is,
where I do lerne my eager pupille’s taske;
her scorns, her prayse, to me as equalle are;
her swete chastisement, alle thatte I may aske;

In her anatomie, I lerne newe worldes;
I am Columbus, sayling to strange shores,
fynde alle thynges newe; I am as one fresshe-taughte;
nought of our schyppe to speke of myne or yours;

Whanne infants, we are all shored safelie uppe
by parentes luve, upon us richlie pored;
but thenne, in’th torment of our growing yeares,
where mighte we lerne where alle thysse luve is stored?

Where is the hertes academie, to teche
thysse bloody, beating, untaughte, human place,
where hevenes Creator meetes thysse mortal coil,
whatte is its role and rule, whatte it muste face?

Too layte, too layte, to tayke a lyfe to lerne
thysse herte to growe, and swell, and gratelie strive;
where is the hertes academie, whanne younge,
to sooner teche oure hertes with luve to thrive?

Comments about ! Hertes Academie (A Metaphysical Exercise) by Michael Shepherd

  • (3/16/2007 6:48:00 AM)

    A note about this poem: though we write poetry in the present, drawing on the past, and to create the future, don't we sometimes feel that we want to express some greatness within us, but feel constricted by the common language of the present time?
    For me, writing in the style of the past is like a museum come to life, a privileged glimpse into the mindscape of the past.. even its variant spellings can make words seem freshly-minted. (Don't we all remember Chaucer's 'younge fresshe folk'...?) .
    I'd recommend this practice occasionally to those who love the poetry of the past, and what it addressed in human life under the gaze of eternity.

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, March 15, 2007

Poem Edited: Wednesday, February 2, 2011

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