Posted by: Tom Triumph | August 31, 2011

153. The Angry Man: Phyllis McGinley

I just finished four days of in-service, with a lot of meetings. Over those four days we were given exactly one hour to prep our rooms, plan for the first day, and coordinate schedules and the like. We learned many wonderful things, but before we could orient it to our plans for the school year, we learned another wonderful thing and forgot the first. Then we moved rooms. Then another day. Then another.

Each time we were encouraged to share by the facilitator or administrator. Be honest, we were told. People were.

By the end, I was reminded me of this poem. A good poem for irony.

In other of seminars we talked about meta-cognition: thinking about thinking. Later, we had someone complain about all of the complaining. I think that’s meta-complaining. No?

Another day, another initiative.

The Angry Man
Phyllis McGinley

The other day I chanced to meet
An angry man upon the street —
A man of wrath, a man of war,
A man who truculently bore
Over his shoulder, like a lance,
A banner labeled “Tolerance.”

And when I asked him why he strode
Thus scowling down the human road,
Scowling, he answered, “I am he
Who champions total liberty —
Intolerance being, ma’am, a state
No tolerant man can tolerate.

“When I meet rogues,” he cried, “who choose
To cherish oppositional views,
Lady, like this, and in this manner,
I lay about me with my banner
Till they cry mercy, ma’am.” His blows
Rained proudly on prospective foes.

Fearful, I turned and left him there
Still muttering, as he thrashed the air,
“Let the Intolerant beware!”

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