WHAT’S IN A NAME?
The earnest part of me my first name names
Is complemented by my middle name:
“Ernst Alan” indicates opposing claims,
Both “serious” and “cheerful” in one frame.
And then that oxymoron reappears
In my last name, which likewise indicates
Contrasting aspects, opposite careers,
One frozen and one flowing, different states:
“Nordstrom” suggests the chilly stiffness of
A Scandinavian midwinter gloom
Conjoined ironically with summer’s love,
The babbling streams by which blithe flowers bloom.
Il Penseroso and L’Allegro both
Contribute to my soul and spirit’s growth.