A Nocturnal Upon St. Lucie’s Day

A little over seven years ago, I did a podcast series I called “A Donne A Day.” That fall I was to teach a seminar at the University of Mary Washington on the writings of John Donne, and I wanted to have a stock of poems ready for students to listen to as well as read. It was a good series, I think, one eventually completed by my students in the seminar. Most of the audio links have broken during several file migrations, and I’ll fix them tomorrow, but I need to put this post up tonight before St. Lucie’s Day is past.

I also need to post this tonight as a timely thank you to three former students who shared their remembrances of this class and this poem on Facebook today, led by the initial status update of Emily Williams. It was a wonderful class in every way. The students were bright, quirky, eager. We dove into the poetry with rigor and abandon. I attended my first Renaissance Fair (trippy indeed). We had a wiki, and a podcast series–and we had each other.

Thank you, Emily, for remembering the class and posting the poem. Thank you Anna and Charlotte for posting your memories as well. Thank you, John Donne, for the grim art you did not hold back in this extraordinary lyric. I hope my reading suggests at least a little of the poem’s power and depth.

And thank you once again, Michael Roman, for being a great teacher, and for introducing me to this mindbending poet and his work. You were exactly the teacher I needed, and you led me to Milton as well (though I didn’t know that at the time).

I hope you are still teaching, somewhere. I know you are still teaching me.

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