|Hello, this is
Professor Selan. How may I help you?...
Repeat the name. . . . Again please. . . . The last
A little lower please, I'm not deaf yet though some
of my "scholars" today think I can't hear
them making dates with each other in class... Can't
say that I remember. How long ago?... Thirty years?
That long! You must understand I have dozens per
term, a hundred-fifty per year, thousands... I think
ten-thousand faces passed by me...
Yeats seminar in Ireland! I must have thought very
highly of you back then. If you want a
recommendation, I'd have to go back to the records
before the computer and I really can't...
Then what do you want?...
To be honest, I simply don't know you.
You must be a professor yourself now. Poetry? You
must have published.
Where have you published? I've got a poem or two in
the New Yorker myself...
Housewife...Why didn't you go to that seminar?...Got
engaged. Typical for girls those days...
Divorced. Also typical....Two children, that's nice.
That's an accomplishment.
Are they professors?...Well, we all can't be
professionals. Did you publish anything at all?...
Threw them away, why? Prevent the divorce Didn't
help. I'm sorry.
Can't say I recall any... I thought that much of you!
Almost as good as early Yeats...
You sound very sad.
I hope I didn't hurt your feelings but you must
remember it's been thirty years. Besides, maybe I'm
getting senile. My current students think so. You
know each year I grow more
more distant, from them. I'm retiring soon.
If you don't need a recommendation then why did
You're making me feel guilty. I can't remember any of
those sessions. In fact I don't recall whether I
preferred Wilfred Owen over... Not a conversation,
not one. And you remembered all of them all these
years! You must think highly of me. The best I had. I
don't remember saying that to you but it must be
true. You must excuse my faulty memory... I'm trying,
Describe yourself.... Doesn't ring a bell. How's that
for triteness Ha!... Well I don't look the same also.
But from how you described yourself, you were pretty
Why did you call me now?...
We all get those moods sometimes. All of us wonder.
You know that poem by John Redleaf Whittier,
"The saddest words are it might have
been."... Greenleaf! Why did I say Redleaf?
Perhaps because it's Autumn for the both us. It's
great that you've memorized that poem, but I do
remember not liking it that much. . . . I'm sorry,
the whole poem - not really interested...
The one poem you that you wrote and still remember?
To be honest, I don't have the time. I have a class
in a minute. But don't feel depressed,
"Tomorrow is the first day of the rest..."
Alright, I won't complete it. Lately I'm beginning to
like the hackneyed. It's comforting, like a laxative.
Anyway it's been pleasant, Good luck and God Bless.