Incarnate whim, though thinned with tendrilled climb,
Explores minutia of crack and niche
'Til wall, engulfed by greenr'y stitch,
Appears a quilt of foliated mind.
Creeper, symbol proud of learned hall,
Cast thy form on ledge and sill,
Assert thy slow, suffusing shell;
Despite the storm, upward do you crawl.
Image is all! Strength among the maze
Of vines is shallow ornament,
Quaintness collecting sentiment,
While underneath facade the stone decays.
- bruce g marcot, 10/83, written during residence as PhD candidate
Notes: Of course, "Ivy" is about Ivy-League posturing, and
the shallow scholastocism touted by universities, and the truly "un-universality"
of universities, whose teaching occupies minute niches etched in decaying
I wrote the piece in strict four-line stanzaic form, with the first and fourth lines (iambic pentameter, five feet per line), and second and third lines (iambic tetrameter, four feet per line), rhyming. If you don't like the variation of this meter, then just read only the first and fourth lines of each stanza; I wrote the piece to be readable this way as well.
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