THE MISSION REMAINS
The Old Guard’s gone, now passed into the shade
with Nina, Ada, Charlie, Wilbur and
then Marion and Phil—our Hit Parade
of Departmental characters, a band
of colorful professors from the days
when dittographs and chalkboards were the mode
along with jackets, bow-ties, buns and stays,
when homework meant to memorize an ode.
A younger set has now assumed command
more women and much more technology;
New Critics are passé and texts are scanned
by copiers if not prosodically.
What matters, though, is that we still succeed
in leading them to love to write and read.