Shortly after we returned to Arkansas in 1977 (with two small children in tow), my Beloved and I both considered taking occasional classes (at our nearby alma mater or at the University of Arkansas which was closer at hand). One of my ambitions was to enroll in poetry classes taught by the esteemed professor and poet Miller Williams. With the death of Williams on Thursday, January 1st, that ambition will remain unrealized.
As someone who knew Miller Williams only through his poetry, my perpetual foot-dragging (to enroll in classes) had as much to do with his august standing as with my doubts I could possibly deserve a place as one of his poetry students. Surely his cream-of-the-crop students were way more erudite and accomplished. I had no illusions about whether I belonged; I was certain I did not.
Being brutally honest here, I also wasn’t sure how I’d respond when submitting my creations for his evaluation. Maybe Professor Williams and/or his students would read one of my poems … and laugh. So, foot-drag I did and where there was once potential (to take a Williams-taught poetry class), that potential evaporated. (He actually hasn’t taught for several years, having suffered more recently from Alzheimer’s.) Continue reading “Would You Go Back?”