He came at night to each of us asleep
And trained us in the virtues we most lacked.
Me he admonished to return his stare
Correctly, without fear.Unless I could,
Unblinking, more and more incline
Toward a deep unblinkingness of his,
He would not let me rest.Outside
In the dark of the world, at the foot
Of the library steps, there lurked
A Mercury of rust, its cab half-lit.
(Two worldly forms who huddled there
Knew what they meant.I had no business

With the things they knew.Nor did I feel myself
Drawn back through Circulation into Reference,
Until I saw how blue I had become, by virtue
Of its five TVs, their monitors abuzz with is’s

Etymologies…)

Analysis, meaning and summary of Heather McHugh's poem The Father of the Predicaments

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