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The Educated Man

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Below is the poem entitled The Educated Man which was written by poet Robert Ludden. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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The Educated Man

"He can sit in a room, and not perish"*
Or might he stand upon the deck,
release the dove, and weep for years,
not for its loss,
nor for the triumph of its flight
above the waters; they are not of God,
they are the backwash of our fears.

There in his room alone,
imprisoned by his conscience
he may let his mind fly free
while tears beneath his wings
may no more flood the ground.
But we are not alone;
we have the educated man fulfilled...
and weeping.  He has not such irony
for comfort.

It is a flood to cling to.
Fears, we understand;
they are our bulwark
when an educated man could speak—
could sweep us all away with wonder,
separate us from such grand pretensions.

We are not free to weep with him.
We may not seek the refuge of the mind,
eyes not for insight, not for closing,
senses bound upon another time
away, another circus of distraction,
yes, another box of little men
to dance upon the screen.

It is a dance to take away our fears,
a dance beguiling death,
suspending it awhile with candied tears
and frosted dreams protecting us from envy,
nodding to the educated man apart,

who sits there in his room alone
and weeping for us,
just as we who may not see
across the arch of his reality,
cannot.
              ~
*quotation from Jacques Barzun

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