The poem and your commentary on it are so beautiful, thank you. But perhaps thank you most of all for the intro on iambic pentameter! I wish I had had your lesson decades ago in school. (We actually had an *amazing* high school English lit prof, I’ll never forget our first class with him, he began out of the blue by reciting Tennyson’s The Eagle… but he was elderly and fell ill within a couple weeks and left and we never got good poetry instruction again).

I remember how frustrated I got at that age trying to figure out how to read iambic pentameter out loud, for that’s how we were taught, I didn’t realize the distinction you explain so well of letting the rhythm be there but not stressing it out loud. We need more (far more!) teachers like you…

Expand full comment

A beautiful and romantized account of a beggar whether by choice or circmstance. One's conscience is activated re- the homeless about us today. Drug addicts , alcoholics, and those mentally ill both young and old are our cross. Few are the Mendicant orders that reach out to assist them. Most of us have been conditioned to accept that it is the responsibility of the government to address the plight of the downtrodden. " The Old Cumberland Beggar " causes us to re-evaluate this understanding and consider our actions. Happily there are silent models of love and charity among us.

Expand full comment

Gentler times bred gentler people.

Expand full comment