The Walter Darby Bannard Archive

Academic Death (1984)

Princeton Alumni Weekly, Dec 5, 1984. Letter to the editor.

In response to Sandra Bermann's "Revolution in Literary Criticism," [PAW, November 21]:

John Keats! Would I were steadfast as your art -
I could spend a lonely night
Red-eyed, with eternal lids apart,
Like the lettered parasite,
Shuffling words into their devilish task
Of pure confusion round this literary race,
Or gazing on the latest verbal mask
Obscuring poetry's fine unprotesting face -
No - yet still steadfast, still unchangeable,
In hand this sampling of your verse,
To feel forever its soft swell and fall,
Awakes in me a swift unalloyed burst
Of fondness for that tender-taken breath
Which ever lives - midst academic death.