The Logician (and other poems by Felicia Nimue Ackerman)

The following is a guest post*  of poems  by Felicia Nimue Ackerman, professor of philosophy at Brown University. 

The poems were originally published in other venues (credits at the bottom of the post).

[Joseph Leroux, “Hatchett” (detail)]

The Logician

Jerome finds logic thrilling.
He loves to help it grow.
The more results that he can prove,
The more he wants to know.
Jerome craves every honor
His logic work can net.
The more awards that he receives
The more he wants to get.
The Bible may deny it,
And yet it’s surely true:
A man can serve two masters, and
That’s just what many do.


Professor on Alert
They say ‘impact adversely,’ and I tell them to say ‘hurt.’
‘Empower’ and ‘proactive’ also put me on alert.
And, like, they’re, like, tenacious when it comes to saying ‘like.’
I dream that I’m the Dutch boy with his finger in the dike.


Who’s Afraid of Philosopher Kings?
If our star colleagues made our laws,
It mightn’t be so good, because
Their views may sometimes bode quite ill —
Think Heidegger instead of Mill.

Credits: A different version of “The Logician”  first appeared in The Providence Journal, 10/20/11. “Professor on Alert” first appeared in The Providence Journal, 5/20/14. A different version of “Who’s Afraid of Philosopher Kings?”  first appeared as a letter to the editor on The Chronicle of Higher Education website, 12/31/14.

Beyond the Ivory Tower. Workshop for academics on writing short pieces for wide audiences on big questions. Taking place October 18th to 19th. Application deadline July 30th. Funding provided.
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