Teach Me

TEACH ME
By Donald (Grady) Davidson

Teach me, old World, your passion of slow change,
    Your calm of stars, watching the turn of earth,
Patient of man, and never thinking strange
    The mad red crash of each new system’s birth.

Teach me, for I would know your beauty’s way
    That waits and changes with each changing sun,
No dawn so fair but promises a day
    Of other perfectness than men have won.

Teach me, old World, not as vain men have taught,
    —Unpatient song, nor words of hollow brass,
Nor men’s dismay whose powerfullest thought
    Is woe that they and worlds alike must pass.

Nothing I learn by any mortal rule;
Teach me, old World, I would not be man’s fool.

from The Fugitive, 1922

Donald (Grady) Davidson
1893–1968

Poet Donald (Grady) Davidson was born in Tennessee and was a member of both the Fugitive and Agrarian groups at Vanderbilt University. He received his B.A. and M.A. degrees from Vanderbilt University and remained at the University his entire professional career (1920 – 1968) teaching English. In addition to being a teacher, Davidson enjoyed an international reputation as a poet, essayist, novelist, and critic. His first book of poems, The Outland Piper, was published in 1924. From 1931-1967 he spent his summers teaching at Bread Loaf School of English in Ripton, Vermont. He served in the military during World War I May 1917- June 1919. In June of 1918 he married Theresa Sherrer, a legal scholar and artist. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, American Folklore Society, American Academy of Political and Social Sciences, South Atlantic Modern Language Association, and the Tennessee Federation for Constitutional Government.

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

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