MIT Faculty Newsletter  
Vol. XIX No. 2
November / December 2006
Student-Driven Activities at MIT
Financial Foundation for MIT's Future
Undergraduate Education Reconsidered
Stephen J. Madden, Jr.
MIT and Singapore
Teaching and Challenging Engineers . . .
to Engineer
Adèle Naudé Santos
Written in Pencil; February Lunch
First Response Education:
New Orleans Comes to MIT
Do MIT Students Ever Sleep?
The Implication of Mega-Partnerships
for MIT Faculty
Helping Students Become Better Writers
A Century of MIT at a Glance
MIT Faculty and Students (1900-2007)
Printable Version

MIT Poetry

William Corbett

Written in Pencil

The lake under rain
Wind streams in water
A day full of words,
Most unspoken, lightning,
The bowl filled with peonies
Long enough ago to know better
Marni you were here when
My mother, your grandmother, died,
Lay dying, not so far away
I couldn’t go.  I didn’t,
Had reasons that today I can’t
Remember.  No wonder we lie
To ourselves, to others, selfish,
Easier than facing who we are.
If that’s the thunder tell me
Something I don’t know or say
It in a way I’ve never heard before.


February Lunch

So cold schools close
On the train reading Snyder
Forty years down the road
Rare, job-worthy poems
Of hard outdoor work
Ear for the way we talk
Plain surface, action below
A fine ride to the whited
Cambridge streets
And lunch with old friend Simic
Down from New Hampshire.
Dean? Not for him.
Clark, whose Belgrade bombing
Killed his uncle or Kerry
Will get his primary vote.
He’s just back from Germany,
Liked it there because people
Admit they once did terrible things.

William Corbett, who teaches in the Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies, has published three volumes of poetry as well as memoirs and literary essays. His most recent publication is Just the Thing: The Selected Letters of James Schuyler.

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