You can also listen to Gregg speak briefly about her approach to writing and read one of her other poems here.
“Arriving Again and Again Without Noticing”
By Linda Gregg
I remember all the different kinds of years.
Angry, or brokenhearted, or afraid.
I remember feeling like that
walking up a mountain along the dirt path to my broken house on the island.
And long years of waiting in Massachusetts.
The winter walking and hot summer walking.
I finally fell in love with all of it:
dirt, night, rock and far views.
It’s strange that my heart is as full
now as my desire was then.
“Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost Introduced by Garrison Keillor
Read by Robert Frost
Submitted by Laura Bang
Laura Bang is Falvey Memorial Library’s Digital and Special Collections curatorial assistant, and she submitted “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,” perhaps one of Frost’s most well known and beloved poems. It was included in Frost’s collection New Hampshire, published in 1923, for which he won the first of his four Pulitzer Prizes.
The speaker of “Stopping by Woods” is caught in a moment of choosing between the tranquility of nature and the responsibilities of life and society. One well-known interpretation suggests that the poem is a meditation on death and draws the distinction between eternal peace, rather than natural tranquility, and the hustle and bustle of daily life.
With the holiday season upon us it is easy to imagine oneself in the speaker’s shoes and the desire for moments of peacefulness at odds with all of the responsibilities that this time of year brings. If you find yourself feeling as though you have far too many miles to go before you sleep, try to find a few moments throughout the day to stop by your own metaphorical wood and take a few deep breaths to get you through all that lies ahead.
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
By Robert Frost
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
Your hand in mine, we walk out
To watch the Christmas Eve crowds
On Fillmore Street, the Negro
District. The night is thick with
Frost. The people hurry, wreathed
In their smoky breaths. Before
The shop windows the children
Jump up and down with spangled
Eyes. Santa Clauses ring bells.
Cars stall and honk. Street cars clang.
Loud speakers on the lampposts
Sing carols, on juke boxes
In the bars Louis Armstrong
Plays White Christmas. In the joints
The girls strip and grind and bump
To Jingle Bells. Overhead
The neon signs scribble and
Erase and scribble again
Messages of avarice,
Joy, fear, hygiene, and the proud
Names of the middle classes.
The moon beams like a pudding.
We stop at the main corner
And look up, diagonally
Across, at the rising moon,
And the solemn, orderly
Vast winter constellations.
You say, “There’s Orion!”
The most beautiful object
Either of us will ever
Know in the world or in life
Stands in the moonlit empty
Heavens, over the swarming
Men, women, and children, black
And white, joyous and greedy,
Evil and good, buyer and
Seller, master and victim,
Like some immense theorem,
Which, if once solved would forever
Solve the mystery and pain
Under the bells and spangles.
There he is, the man of the
Night Before Christmas, spread out
On the sky like a true god
In whom it would only be
Necessary to believe
A little. I am fifty
And you are five. It would do
No good to say this and it
May do no good to write it.
Believe in Orion. Believe
In the night, the moon, the crowded
Earth. Believe in Christmas and
Birthdays and Easter rabbits.
Believe in all those fugitive
Compounds of nature, all doomed
To waste away and go out.
Always be true to these things.
They are all there is. Never
Give up this savage religion
For the blood-drenched civilized
Abstractions of the rascals
Who live by killing you and me.
*The Poetry Center Digital Archive is a Project of The Poetry Center at San Francisco State University.
As I Walked Out One Evening, By W.H. Auden Read by Tom Hiddleston
Submitted by Sarah Wingo
“As I Walked Out One Evening” was written in the mid-1930s, early in Auden’s career. In technical terms the poem is a literary ballad with ABCB quatrains and other elements of the lyric poem. The poem deals with love, mortality, and the steady march of time. Although there is melancholy in this poem, one of my favorite take aways from it is that although life is fleeting, and perhaps even more so because it is so fleeting “Life remains a blessing.” My favorite line comes near the end of the poem:
“You shall love your crooked neighbor
With your crooked heart.”
This line acknowledges the deep imperfections of humanity, while at the same time celebrating the human capacity for love.
So, what is a patron saint? The New Catholic Encyclopedia says that “saints came to be regarded as the special advocates and intercessors.” Sacred places, solemn events, and even causes and occupations have, over the years, become associated with a particular patron or patroness. Therefore a patron saint, who is very much alive in heaven, is called upon to be an advocate and asked to pray for us here on earth, particularly on certain occasions.
Saint Gianna Beretta Molla (1922-1962)
Saint Gianna was a twentieth-century Italian doctor and also a mother. She risked her life for the sake of her unborn child, and died in 1962, rather than terminating the pregnancy in an effort to save her own life. She is a martyr, which is a witness, to the importance of respecting life from conception to natural death. Her husband and children attended her canonization ceremony in 2004. She has become the patroness of mothers, unborn children, healthcare workers, professional women, and the pro-life movement.
For more information about the World Meeting of Families 2015 in Philadelphia, visit the official website.
Article by Darren G. Poley, Scholarly Outreach team leader and theology librarian.
Advent derives from the Latin word “adventus,” meaning approach or arrival. Advent is a time of expectation, a buildup and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity at Christmas (Christ’s first coming), and a reminder to prepare one’s soul for Christ’s expected return to earth on judgment day.
Advent is celebrated in different ways, but one cherished tradition that our readers in both religious and secular households may have grown up with is that of the Advent Calendar. In the spirit of the holiday season, Falvey Memorial Library has asked its staff to contribute one or two of their favorite poems to a Poetry Advent Calendar, which we will be creating on our blog. During Advent you can check in everyday for a new poem as we count down to Christmas.
There are as many iterations of a non-traditional student as there are students themselves. Even ‘normal’ students these days have jobs and commitments that make their schedules far removed from idyllic full-time-student status in every sense of the word.
I know this for a fact because my own “non-trad post-grad” college career has lasted almost as long as it has taken two of my children to earn their bachelor’s degrees. Having listened to their kvetching during that time made me see that trads and non-trads endure many of the same burdens: quirky professors, toppling stacks of copies, bedspreads stained with the blooms of highlighters with lost lids and classmates at shared tables eating offensive foods (e.g.: gruesome-looking green smoothies, Chipotle burrito bowls, bologna eaten methodically slice by slice, without the bread.)
So we deserve Non Traditional Student Week, a national celebration held each year by ANTSHE, the Association of Nontraditional Students in Higher Education, and held this year from November 2-8. It is promoted locally on our campus by Villanova University’s College of Professional Studies, including the Offices of both Part-Time and Continuing Studies, who will be awarding one outstanding non-traditional student leader. For it to come to my personal attention now is rather coincidental. I am coming to the end of my own non-traditional student journey next Saturday, as I’ll be sitting for the comprehensive exams in graduate communication studies.
How to best prepare best for a 5-hour behemoth exam while balancing a full time job, training a puppy, planning a Thanksgiving feast for 30 and keeping up with the new season of Top Chef? Well, I think a lot of the same strategies I’ll be implementing for the next two weeks are the same ones that have gotten me through the last [too embarrassed to admit] years! I’ll share some of my favorites below. Please add your own to our comments section!
NON-TRADITIONAL STUDENT TOOLKIT:
First of all, don’t get a puppy. Not now. Even if he’s a gift and the cutest thing you’ve ever laid eyes on. I’m speaking from experience. Save it for your graduation gift.
Get a crockpot instead. Liquid + Onions + Meat = go.
Save your vacation time. I know it’s completely a depressing thought to use precious time away from the office on your couch with your nose buried in a George Herbert Mead treatise, but it is better than the stress you’ll feel if you don’t take the time you need to study. Stress makes you ugly, turns you into a potty mouth behind the wheel, and makes you lower your standards when it comes to choosing candy! How else can I explain the Wonka Everlasting Gobstoppers I’ve put on Amazon auto-delivery?
Become best friends with a subject librarian and/or a “good places to start” librarian. First of all, it’s easy to become friends with our librarians because they are all totes adorbs. But, we realize it’s difficult for non-trads to visit the Library during the day. Fortunately, the Library has set up a myriad of ways to consult with our librarians whether you’re on the road, at your desk, or even still in your pajamas. You’ll still get the same great service – and I can’t stress enough to get acquainted with your subject librarian and Falvey’s “great places to start” librarian, Sue Ottignon. They luuuurve to dig and are most likely already familiar with the project or information that your professor is asking for. Hardly anyone ever leaves a consult without kicking themselves for not having done it sooner. That’s a fact – folks are always kicking themselves around here! It’s like Cirque du Soliel!
Become best friends with the folks in Access Services. Another brilliant crowd – and the one that holds the keys to ACCESS, get it? Access? The verb and noun, actually, that means to get? Not only can they help you retrieve the zillion or so items that Falvey holds, they will help you get the other zillion or two you’re bound to want as well from libraries around the world with our amazing ILL and E-Z Borrow services. And somehow, they always manage to do it with a smile fully intact. Don’t know how they do it.
Hide from your family. Who knew your old Hide ‘n Seek gaming skills would come in handy during college? They do. Learn how to hide. Put up a CLOSED sign. No cooking, no cleaning, no putting out the darn dog. When it’s time to study, study. Let the family know to not bother you. Set time limits. Go to Trader Joe’s, load the freezer with Orange Chicken and Mac ‘N Cheese, point them to the microwave and close the den door. Better yet, come to the Library where they can’t find you. We have great 24/7 spaces, including a spectacular Reading Room in Falvey Hall that shares quiet study with a fascinating public conservation of a massive Baroque masterpiece.
Decide how you’re going to address your professors – then own it. You may find yourself being the same age as, or even older than your professor on occasion. This will be awkward. They may make it easy on you and say, “Hey, call me Bob!” If not, use the same strategy I used for my in-laws: catch their eye and talk to them once they’re looking at you. You may have to drop your notebook or wave your arms wildly first, but then you’ll be over that awkward patch. Always, always, alwaysaddress them via their appropriate title (Dr./Prof.) in emails, though.
Consider an independent study. Some majors offer opportunities for you to spend a class or two in an independent study. Not only a perfect way to save on gas or commuting time, it’s a great way to tailor your studies to combine getting credits with a work project that you have always wanted to do or with a skill that you’ve wanted to devote more time to learning. I was able to combine visual culture theory, my interest in art and learning Bootstrap into a class I and my professor customized. Looking for ways to kill two or even three birds with one stone is a great strategy to not only save time, but to create amazing opportunities for yourself with mentorship you can’t always get in real life.
The start of a new hoops season! Photo by Molly Quinn, Class of ’15.
You are a ‘Cat! You may keep non-traditional hours, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy all the traditional fun of being a student at Villanova University! Go to sporting events, trash talk to St. Joe’s folks, get a beer at Kelly’s or Flip’s, hit the clearance rack at the bookstore for bargains on Nova hoodies and most of all, bleed blue with the rest of us! It’s your week, Non-traditional student! Congrats and have fun!
Joanne Quinn is the team leader for Communication and Service Promotion