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Archive for the tag “Marie Howe”

Small Remembrance – Dr. Edward Lee Shirley

Hey all,

I had every intent of posting up a new poem of mine, either sonnet or another, but I was just recently informed that a professor of mine has passed: Dr. Edward Shirley, a theological professor at St. Edward’s University.

a photo of Dr. Edward Shirley

He was a quirky, spirited, and amazingly fun professor to have.  I will never forget the class I took with him last, Religious Themes of Harry Potter, which ultimately boiled down to reading the HP series and discussing ways in which theological elements were implemented in the story.

Though I only had him in two classes my first two years of college, he always remembered my name.  He was the kind of person you’d see walking around campus every day almost always in conversation with a student, usually more than one, but he would always make it a point to say hi as you passed.  When he wasn’t walking around, he would be sitting to lunch with a large group of students.  That was the main element of Dr. Shirley that stood out to me, his closeness to his students.  He even went to see the midnight release of the last Potter film with several students.  He had a youthful vitality that always surprised me.

I know most of you all who read this will undoubtedly not know this man, and some may have skimmed this post and moved on, but I just wanted to put down these few memories of him while they are on my mind today.

I want this post to be dedicated to Dr. Shirley, so I am going to conclude with a fitting poem by Marie Howe.

Stephen R.

What the Living Do

Johnny, the kitchen sink has been clogged for days, some utensil probably fell down there.
And the Drano won’t work but smells dangerous, and the crusty dishes have piled up

waiting for the plumber I still haven’t called. This is the everyday we spoke of.
It’s winter again: the sky’s a deep, headstrong blue, and the sunlight pours through

the open living-room windows because the heat’s on too high in here and I can’t turn it off.
For weeks now, driving, or dropping a bag of groceries in the street, the bag breaking,

I’ve been thinking: This is what the living do. And yesterday, hurrying along those
wobbly bricks in the Cambridge sidewalk, spilling my coffee down my wrist and sleeve,

I thought it again, and again later, when buying a hairbrush: This is it.
Parking, Slamming the car door shut in the cold. What you called that yearning.

What you finally gave up. We want the spring to come and the winter to pass. We want
whoever to call or not call, a letter, a kiss–we want more and more and then more of it.

But there are moments, walking, when I catch a glimpse of myself in the window glass,
say, the window of the corner video store, and I’m gripped by a cherishing so deep

for my own blowing hair, chapped face, and unbuttoned coat that I’m speechless:
I am living. I remember you.

– Marie Howe

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I’m Back

Hey everyone out there,

So I’ve been out. Combination of spring break and catching up on midterm work for classes. On top of that, I decided to give myself a bit of a mental break and have been reading a lot. I finished Middlesex, The Importance of Being Earnest, Pride and Prejudice, and A Farewell to Arms in the past week. But good news, I haven’t been neglecting poetry. I’m finishing up a reread of Marie Howe‘s new book: The Kingdom of Ordinary Time.

In the meantime, I thought I would share some of the unbelievable springtime growth that’s been happening around me. Namely, bluebonnets:

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More posts soon to come.  Till then, take care and enjoy the springtime.

Combat Steve

Slight delay, with hints of things to come.

With another week of college, comes another delay in the poetry review.  I will not be waiting till next Tuesday to get it up however.  I should have it up by the weekend.  In the meantime, I thought I’d share a little more about myself today.  More precisely, my writing area. (Pictured below)

a picture of the desk I write at

This desk has been my pride and joy these past two years.  The bookshelf: I built myself.  On the left side of the desk is the beginnings of my old book collection (All printed in the 1920s: Emerson, Wilde, Twain, and Dickens).  I’ve managed to keep that central area as a writing space.  It may be a little crowded, but it functions well.  If you look closely to the right you’ll see my new book of poetry I got in the mail today.

Just my newest collection of poetry. Marie Howe - The Good Thief

I’m pretty excited for it, as Marie Howe is one of my favorite contemporary poets right now.  This isn’t my next review, but I’ll be reading through it soon.

Anyway, I hope you all have had a great start to the week.

Combat Steve

P.S. If you’re interested in a fun poem to read check out “Humanitad” by Oscar Wilde.  I’ve read through it a few times recently.  It’s long, but worth it.

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