Bill Grace


:) Poem Of Pure Autobiography - Poem by Bill Grace

Mother was Presbyterian and Dad Roman Catholic
It took them a silver anniversary to truly bridge the gulf
And I about as long to find my way
With help from Quakers and Unitarians and other
Strange creatures of the light.

Princeton all but bluntly told me that my type was not welcome
And Chicago was offended at chapbook publishing that spoofed at Shelly
But Berkeley welcomed me
And much to Mother's dismay I said 'yes'
Not knowing what yes could mean
But desperate for heavier credentials.

Harvard even dimly figures in
For all my friends were going not to Harvard
But to its antitheses established in the great fight
That split New England congregationalism
And gave the word - Unitarian - to us as a term of derision.
Even Andover-Newton was not right
I tried it for three full days
Knowing by instinct's pain it was not the place.
Despite Dean Peck's powerful preaching.

Berkeley was for me correct and in its great freedom
A strange thing emerged, a love to learn would come and stay
Following this strange thing called truth
To an old rugged cross
Quite acceptable to Presbyterians but not to those Unitarians
Who are too busy to stop and learn.


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Poem Submitted: Friday, June 1, 2007

Poem Edited: Saturday, March 5, 2011


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