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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Lines of Love by John Donne

One late spring morning, when I was in college, I happened to stop and speak to a gentleman as I went to enter my dorm dining hall. He was dirty blond and somewhat dirty himself, with a scruffy beard and an expansive smile. He moved quickly and with broad gestures. I don't know if he was a visiting professor, homeless but educated or someone simply working as a custodian with a fondness for poetry.

He struck up a conversation with me, because he noticed my newly purchased Dover Thrift book, a compilation of poetry by John Donne, which I held clasped to my chest from habit, thus the title was unintentionally displayed. In that brief conversation, he shared with me--from memory, his favorite lines of poetry by John Donnne which are now among my favorites as well; I thank him.


"If they be two, they are two so
As stiff twin compasses are two ;
Thy soul, the fix'd foot, makes no show
To move, but doth, if th' other do. "

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