Lucius Furius

Mr. Thomas - Poem by Lucius Furius

Upon learning of the recent death of Willard Thomas, I decided to interview some of his former students in hopes of discovering the truth about this controversial figure.

'God, what a man! I've never known anyone who experienced life so
intensely. His mind was plagued by unanswerable questions. His body was racked by the suffering of fellow human beings. His soul was tortured by the absurdity of existence.
His life was a struggle with the cosmos.
You could see it in his face.
You could feel it in his words.
And what a teacher! He hypnotized the class. He made books come to life.
We saw him in the meadow with Emily Dickinson,
drunk with daisies and the sunrise.
We saw him lugging Cordelia about the camp,
brains burst, arms aching.
We saw him fling the iron at Moby Dick! !
defiant to the last....
He was obsessed with truth.
He was in love with justice.
He was the hero of a tragedy called Existence
and he played his part surpassing well.'

'Mr. Thomas was an ass. I know you shouldn't talk that way about a dead person but you said you wanted the truth and that's the truth. Every day he came into class with that ridiculous paisley tie and those irritating starched white shirts with the collars curled up at the corners and those baggy pants down to his shoe-tops and that mess of frizzy white hair and that grimace, that stupid idiotic grimace. And he couldn't teach worth shit. His lectures were a bunch of gibberish about 'truth' and 'justice' and there was never any discussion. The only ideas that interested him were his own. He thought of himself as some sort of tragic hero. He was a fool, a fraud, an ass....'

Topic(s) of this poem: literature, passion, teacher

Form: Lyric

Poet's Notes about The Poem

In case you're wondering, I'm in the camp of the first speaker.

This poem is one of the Humanist Art Homepage, Scraps of Faith poems.

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Poem Submitted: Friday, May 26, 2017

Poem Edited: Monday, July 3, 2017

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