Louis Hunt: Advice To An Old Professor


The license to teach is not a cheap excuse
for rambling on about your reckless use
of drugs in Junior High, or your perplexed
hallucination that you once had sex

with your best friend’s attractive female kin
while tripping in her room on mescaline.
Professors of your age should show more sense
than to provoke their students’ innocence.

For them, your still-green memories are stale.
Let the students weave their own mythic tale.
“You had to be there” rebukes the classroom rabble,
but no one is listening in their Tower of Babel.

At best, you are an anecdote in the making,
a pedagogic cliché, unkempt and quaking;
afraid, like others, of time’s destructive will,
the time your students mark by standing still.

Hypocrite professeur, − mon semblable,− mon frère!
Save, if you can, your more fantastic affaires
for private show. Don’t count on being witty.
Be good, Professor, since you can’t be pretty.