LONG TO KNOW
Arch MacLeish said Radcliffe girls
came to Yale to take his class,
leaven the lump not in his throat.
I wonder as I swallow what he meant--
will I wait uncommon long to know?
Thomas Merton took graduate school
from Mark Van Doren, Lionel Trilling too--
the blue-sweater era at Yale; Columbia's
two-tone shoes. Such attire, such men.
One wonders what was bought, saved,
brought back from Germany and France.
Other men stayed buried there, a teacher,
painter, dramatist, a master of the bow--
I linger in the common, wait long to know.
Enrolled at law, Ada leavened Archie's lump,
he kneed his way into her gentle sympathy--
proposed by Socrates, Harvard's methodology.
A to-be poet only borrows what is lent
in grammar school-- maybe from a wave
down from Lindsey Hall across the mall.
MacLeish writes to borrow what is lent
a poet, become at last God's conception
what man should mean, or rather, be--
without uncommon wait, too long to know.