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Dear University of Montana President Seth Bodnar:

Does UM want graduates to know lots of Emerson, including: "Standing on bare ground — my head bathed by the blithe air and uplifted into infinite space — all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eyeball; l am nothing; I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me..."

Or Frost: "My object in living is to unite/ my avocation and my vocation ... only where love and need are one,/ and the work is play for mortal stakes,/ is the deed ever really done/ for Heaven and the future's sakes.” 

Or Emily Dickinson's phrase “sumptuous destitution," the feeling of which comes up in Richard Wilbur's "Hamlen Brook": “How shall l drink all this?/ Joy's trick is to supply/ dry lips with what can cool and slake,/ leaving them dumbstruck and also with an ache/ nothing can satisfy."

Or Hilda Doolittle: “ ... olives and wild anemone and violet/ mingled among the shale/ and purple wings/ of little winter-butterflies/ say, here Psyche, the soul, lies." 

Save, save, save arts and humanities. 

Ken Cairns,


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