Study

 

That which separates student and scholar:
A lifetime of quibbling with the past,
and idiocy. Upbraiding those old ghosts,
a monkish warrior, the scholar wears

his empirical suit to guard against
nostalgia's desultory difference -
the past is not a foreign country, once
manners mattered not. Your senses

Too long buried in books, you'll pray
for sweet relief in the sweat and heat
of the physical as counter-weight
to this intolerable thought: the way

up and way down are not the same.
Shelves groan with unbidden names.