For My Student, Upon Her Rejection of My “Easy Praise”
(a creative writing student who went on to become a successful writer and novelist)
Forgive me when I say
You do not know what you are talking about.
I who have trekked the high parched deserts of indifferent expression
And labored through low tedious swamps of lack of intent
Know what it means to stand on the pinnacle of a high mountain
In clear air and fresh wind
To hold the fragile moment of the first light of day
Dawning on the distant horizon
And know that it is good.
And so, though my praise be twenty times too much
For you and your work,
I promise you this, my young writer:
It is still apt and it is still true.