Tuesday, 3 May 2011

I Made This For You

The days of the school year are rapidly dwindling in number, though the expectations are rising--papers to finish, functions to attend, endeavours to plan, and every time I think to tire of my lot, I hear the voice of Gold Five, fighter pilot from Star Wars: A New Hope, in my head: "Stay on target."

Gold Two: [the Y-wings are running the gauntlet toward the Death Star reactor-port] The guns - they've stopped!
Gold Five: [realizes why] Stabilize your rear deflectors... Watch for enemy fighters.
Gold Leader: They're coming in! Three marks at 2-10!
[Gold Two is slain by Darth Vader and his wingmen; Gold Leader starts to panic]
Gold Leader: It's no good, I can't maneuver!
Gold Five: Stay on target.
Gold Leader: We're too close!
Gold Five: Stay on target! 

There is nothing better than a rallying cry, and thus I salute you with this poem. May it be a light to you in dark libraries, when all other lights go out.

Three cheers for the relentless! for the wild-
eyed readers, the red-eyed writers, paper-
eaters, persistent night-oil burners, midnight 
stalkers, bashful book-creepers, who scuttle 
off in corners to bow their heads and prey like 
mantises on texts, claw-handed, devouring 
whole the life and limbs of textbooks, journals, 
introductions, prologues, all! Three cheers for 
project-pushers, last-minute essayists, examiners, 
procrastinators, soft-spoken rebels, the last 
and lonely students of the library who scrabble 
fast and far into the night to catch that which
eludes them most--not sleep--but concluding
paragraphs, those finely-crafted words with
which to crown their work and let them
limp, ink-stained, war-wounded across the 
finish line to cast off from this Rock of Academia 
and fling themselves free, head first, into the gentle
days of summer.