Poetry: “Northern Tour”

Donald M. Hassler

Northern Tour

“great-rooted blossomer”
—William Butler Yeats, “Among School Children”

A workshop works like yeast. We burst
From underneath. The poem by Yeats
With the blossomer firmly rooted
Always makes my classes laugh. I teach
The best I can to silent heads.
The jester sweats. The motley hand
Still is in the game. The cap and bells
Amuse. But I need the growing season,
The shortened northern tour away from reason.

Greg Brown and his guitar came by in June.
Now it’s only black flies. News has slowed.
They say that Alice cannot remember. Her sons
And daughters care. The miner we call Bear
Is son to a pillar of a man whose father
Was more a legend. Families gather like the fifties.
Birth is usually the same. We ought never pause
Nor interrupt our aging to complain.
Making hay suffices as the seasons wane.

In winter we drop our lines deep
As football fields and jig the calluses
On fingers made sensitive to feel
The least pull. Sometimes we feed all year
On worlds beneath thick ice and save
The finite quantity of words vouchsafed
For formal times, for ceremonies, feasts
And gatherings when we may sing
And write up all that rooted mix may bring.

  • Share
Most Commented

April 24, 2024


Evolution Is Neither Random Accidents nor Divine Intervention: Biological Action Changes Genomes

Biologist James A. Shapiro believes the discovery of different biological means by which organisms can alter their genomes, along with the process of interspecific hybridization, demands a r......

April 24, 2024


Country Music Violates the “Sacred Project” of Elites

Sociologist Jukka Savolainen contrasts the media’s vicious treatment of country singers Jason Aldean and Oliver Anthony to the far more benign, or even laudatory, treatment of lawbreak......

April 24, 2024


Heterodox Thinking on Evolution and Radical Enlightenment

Between the Modern Synthesis—which says that evolution is driven by accidental genetic changes—and its heterodox challenges—which argue for various forms of agency and non-......

Most Read

May 30, 2018


The Case for Colonialism

From the summer issue of Academic Questions, we reprint the controversial article, "The Case for Colonialism." ...

July 2, 2020


In Humans, Sex is Binary and Immutable

The idea that there are more than two sexes in human beings is a rejection of everything biological science has taught us. Unbelievably, this idea is coming directly from within the highest......

March 18, 2022


The Case for Colonialism: A Response to My Critics

Political scientist and NAS board member Bruce Gilley’s article “The Case for Colonialism” (republished in Academic Questions in the summer of 2018), has been the subject o......