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Poem: A Question for a Principal...

Books & Poetry

This week’s Poet’s Corner contribution from Erica Jolly references a popular sonnet by John Milton while pondering blindness of a different kind.

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A Question for a Principal…

Thinking of Milton’s question
opening his sonnet
“On his blindness”

Please tell me why the library has gone
with all its books and magazines and maps?
“There is no need,” she says. “It’s on their laps,
on lap-top screens. Now Google Earth has shone
new light on all they need to understand.
The answer’s on a screen and there’s the ‘kindle’.
All books can now be rented instead of bought.”
This Principal’s dead sure that she is right.

This sonnet is not quite in the Italian mode
Milton chose when he asked his question.
This is blindness of a different kind.
She has lost sight of the worlds to be found
in books. She is blind, choosing reduction,
rather than the expansion of the mind.

Erica Jolly graduated from Adelaide University with honours in history and gained her Masters in English Literature from Flinders University. She taught and held curriculum positions in secondary schools for 40 years, has been elected to the Flinders University Governing Council and Academic Senate, helped combine various faculties and schools there, and supported the recognition of teaching. She has authored five books, two on South Australian educational history, two of her poetry, and ‘Challenging the Divide: Approaches to Science and Poetry’.

Readers’ original and unpublished poems of up to 40 lines can be emailed, with postal address, to Submissions should be in the body of the email, not as attachments. A poetry book will be awarded to each accepted contributor.

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