The Necessary Lie
“For My Students, Returning to College”
Now splintered grass encrusts the yard
And crisp leaves slant the brittle air;
Impassive, close, the neutral sky
Engages buildings lean and spare,
The day is lean and hard.
Within these rooms the truth must lie.
Immortal, of the mortal brain,
It burns inert in cold black print
And warms the lifeless grasp to gain:
The concept does not die.
Here we have come to search the gray
And sullen stubbor[n]ness of fact:
To learn that we can never sense
Or know what we can never act
Or what we cannot say.
Like coal – condensed to burn bright – action hooked to speech.
And so for day 2258