is dead. Sixty years ago she was in her prime
teaching 10th grade Honors English at
Dubuque Senior High. She had done so "since dirt"
as they say in Iowa. Prose was easy. We plowed
through The Good Earth and traveled to Mexico
to see The Power and the Glory. Then came poetry
where I masked my fear by being a wise ass.
In the Carnegie Stott Free Library on 11th Street
I found an article stating Edgar Allen Poe described
poetry as the rhythmical creation of beauty. After all
in "Annabel Lee" we have these drumbeats:
For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee .
And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.
That's rhythm. That's beauty. Fern said the poem
had meaning and I needed to grow up. When we
came to the final, we had to write a poem. I told
her I couldn't do it. Fern suggested a little meeting
which resulted in:
Summer rain descend and dwell
Clean and fill the empty well…….
I passed. For the last sixty years when
I finish a poem I often think of "Annabel Lee",
Fern Andrews and
Of those who were older than we
Of many far wiser than we.