Presence

“In my visits to the hospitals,
I found it was in the simple matter
of Personal Presence,
and emanating ordinary cheer and magnetism,
that I succeeded and help’d more
than by medical nursing or delicacies,
or gifts of money, or anything else.”
–Walt Whitman

 

So for the master’s degree in your field
You went to the best school in country

And for the doctorate in same field
You went to the second best school in the country

And yes I take note of you receiving one
Of the most prestigious fellowships in the county

And sure it’s easy to imagine the laudatory letters of recommendation
From your blown-away professors

For yours is a formidable skill-set
That positions you to blast off in your career

Opportunities endless
Worlds to conquer

All this I happily acknowledge
But I have to tell you this–

What enlivened me ten years ago
And what invigorated me today

What was vibrant long before
Your long trek through academia

And what will be dazzling
Ten years hence

What cannot be summarized on a CV
Or quantified on charts or graphs

Is the simple matter of your magnetism
Of your Cheer and Personal Presence

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