I may have experienced my first
Soul scorching trauma
In Father Pieper’s and Willie Wiler’s
2A Latin and 2A Greek classes
Back around 1960.
A bad back kept me from b-ball,
My freshman year, so I studied very hard.
During my sophomore year, on the other hand,
Coach Martel and Nanette Saracini
Inspired the role of class dunce amidst the
Geniuses of 2A Latin and 2A Greek.
As a young lad, a bishop to be
Was spectacularly insulting
In witnessing my academic buffoonary…
I carried this humiliation all the way to
The edge of a Ph.D., which has yet to come.
(I hope to get several honorary ones :) )
But stopped short and demanded of myself
A second language, to truly merit
So august an honor.
So I bore down hard and learned a second,
And in the process was derailed from
My academic quest
(where I truly did not belong, in retrospect).
But now I intend on picking up a 3rd,
But effortlessly and only pleasurably.
So most mornings I take a line of poetry
And enter it at http://babelfish.altavista.com/tr.
Out comes a “first draft” translation,
Which I record in my small black “book-brain,”
(which I carry always).
In the course of the day I do my best to
Read, speak, and sing the lines for the day.
I ask clerks and others if they might know any
Or be studying Spanish.
This often opens up a chance for Spanish talk
With live humans.
And now through the miracle of the internet
I can imagine a few of my SLUH buddies
In a study group on line with me.
I would like to combine Spanish study
With a close inspection of “Leaves of Grass.”
My eldest child, Rachel Godsil, now 38,
Told me she quit worrying about my zany ways
After reading David S. Reynold’s
“Walt Whitman’s America: A Cultural Biography.”
So I’m carefully reading this book,
And reading “Leaves of Grass” as well.
My Father Joseph Godsil, a tool and die maker,
Left me “Leaves of Grass” when he returned
To God, after falling from a ladder,
While roofing his garage at 6209 Marquette Ave.,
When he was 73, to save $149, and
Act out his macho aspect.
God love you if you have followed my windy self
This far. I hope this mornings verse interests you.
Stop this day and night with me,
And you shall possess the origin of all poems,
You shall possess the good of the earth and sun,
You shall not look through the eyes of the dead,
Nor feed on the spectres in books,
You shall listen to all sides and filter them from your self.
Pare este día y noche con mí,
Y usted poseerá el origen de todos los poemas,
Usted poseerá el bueno de la tierra y del sol,
Usted no mirará a través de los ojos de los muertos,
ni alimenta en los espectros en libros,
usted Escuchará todos los lados y los filtrará de su uno mismo.