Home / General / My name is William Blake, do you know my poetry? IV

My name is William Blake, do you know my poetry? IV


Because it’s Saturday night and there are (and soon will be) so many new faces around here, I feel the need to remind y’all of who I am and why I “matter.” This is a primer I wrote for prospective grad students back in 2007 when I had things like hope and a future. That it doesn’t reflect that says something. I won’t say what. You’re more than welcome to.

A is for Anxiety. Who are you, Derrida?

B is for the Bore you are, to all but Ma and Pa.

C is for the Coin you drop on Copies you deface,

D for the Despair you feel, producing at this pace.

E is for the Energy you wasted all these years,

F for Fraud, for Failure, Fake, whatever, these are tears.

G is for the Game you play, imagining you’ll finish,

H for Harry Potter. You fancy games of Quiddich.

I‘s for Isolation, you’re alone in this you know?

J‘s for all the Joy you’ll feel in this Hell when it snows.

K is for the grade you’d give, to see that student sob,

L‘s for Lucky, like you’ll be, to ever Land a job.

M is for the Money you’d be rolling in by now,

N for all the Notes you lost, although you’re not sure how.

O is for the wailing of your apoplectic fit,

P for all the Pressure, which you handle [BLEEP] [BLEEP] [BLEEP].

Q is for the Questions, all the dumb ones that you ask,

R for the Revisions, Resubmissions in your past.*

T is for the Time spent, reading this instead of that,

U for Unproductive, like the time spent with your cat.

V is for the Virtues you can always cultivate,

When you have a real life, at some undetermined date.

X is for the ones you love, but avoided for your cause,

Y ‘s for you, you you you you, and working without pause.

Z is for the Žižek, he’s really rad, I hear,

And now you know Grad ABCs, who here wants more beer?


*S is for the Shit that you inevitably leave out.

(And also for how stupid, you feel foot firm in mouth.)

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  • ChrisTS

    A) Jesus. That’s some depressing stuff.

    B) Time spent with a cat is never time wasted.

  • Tnap01

    Love this – until Z :(

  • commie atheist

    Now I see why you are so beloved by your students.

    • SEK

      Honestly is a virtue beloved by students. I know, they tell me so.

      • ChrisTS

        Hmmm… does this extend to comments on papers and grades?

  • Mean Mister Mustard

    That fraud word….

    • SEK

      Yes, it’s what every legitimate intellectual feels on a regular basis because they recognize that they don’t know everything they can. It’s what other people, whose names I won’t mention, never feel like because they’re so certain that they’re correct that they’ll never acknowledge — much less be bedeviled by — their own intellectual shortcomings.

      Funny how that works, isn’t it?

      • Leeds man

        I’m still expecting my 26-year-old PhD to be revoked at some point, but I also prefer ‘ignorant bastard’ to ‘legitimate intellectual’ because much less pressure.

        • SEK

          I’m still expecting someone to figure out I never finished Physics in high school and revoke my entire academic career, from undergrad on.

        • ChrisTS

          I used to think that the requisite female* academic’s litany was “I’m fat, ugly, and a fraud.”

          *Somehow, it doesn’t make me feel any better to learn that male academics share in any part of that litany.

      • Mean Mister Mustard

        Funny how that works, isn’t it?

        Nothing funny about it when people don’t knowstay curious about everything they can, but it’s even more inglorious when curiosity is absent from any response to discordant information which threatens their sense of self. This is sad.

        • SEK

          Yes, that is what I was saying about you. I’m glad the message got through.

          • Mean Mister Mustard

            I’m familiar with redemptive self-awareness. Maybe a practicioner seems foreign to the zeitgeist, locally.

            • Jordan

              “Maybe a practicioner seems foreign to the zeitgeist, locally.”

              There is no way that sentence wasn’t generated by a spambot.

              • ChrisTS

                I am only a recent visitor to LGM (couple of months), but I think I have figured out a few local matters.

                This MMM thing I do not get at all.

                • Jordan

                  Yeah, I’m something of a long-time lurker (and very occasional commenter) and I don’t get MMM at all either.

                  Sometimes (ok, most of the time) it is pure troll, sometimes it seems to actually want to engage in a (generally hateful) conversation, sometimes it is word salad. Truly puzzling.

                • ChrisTS


                  Thanks. That makes me feel less obtuse.

                  But, do you get the sense that the LGM bloggers have some sense that they are communicating with whatever-it-is? I do, and this makes me feel more clueless.

              • mxyzptlk

                Was that made by an academese generator?

      • rea

        Socrates went on about5 this, by most accounts . . .

  • Bruce Baugh

    SEK, if you can’t see what’s Lacan in this, you’re surely Deleuzional.

  • Orpho

    I am finishing the last draft (deargodpleasepleasepleasepleasepleaseplease) of my dissertation tonight/this morning. Very timely.

    …and yes, it was due on the 1st. Why isn’t there a letter for “late”?

    • ChrisTS

      Wouldn’t that be ‘L’?

    • ChrisTS

      P.S. Good luck!

    • Hogan

      Why isn’t there a letter for “late”?

      All the letters are for “late.”

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