The Ghost of Dr. George

The Ghost of Dr. George

That time of year…

The Motherless Muse

That time of year thou mayest in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang.

~Sonnet # 73

IMG_1090This poem returns to haunt me each autumn in the voice of Dr. George–my freshman English professor from Saint Joes University in Philadelphia.

It’s only now, 25 years later, as I enter the autumn of my own life, that I begin to understand why George was moved to tears when he recited this particular Shakespearean sonnet.

That time of year thou mayest in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang

At 18, I couldn’t understand how a poem could make anyone cry–let alone a grown man in a suit–who was old (but only generically so, like everyone else over 30.)

It was my junior year in London that I got word that Professor George actually died.

Upon whose boughs which shake against the cold,
bare…

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