For my class.
Three times a week I added to it
pages of scrawled-out facts figures
diagrams and arrows pointing
Seventy pages of class time
three or four ink pens called into hard use
running up and down the pages
crinkly and stained
where they once were smooth
and fit against each other
as if one block of paper.
here is the page with formulas
that must be remembered.
This page here
it is a dead end
no further exploration was made
of this information.
The landscape of this notebook
so familiar I know each page by feel.
I know where the hidden gold is
The few words that will make a difference
in the exam. In what I know.
I cannot do without the notebook.
The class finishes its run. The notebook
is no longer relevant. Still
I cannot let it go. Too important. Stored in a box
its pages relaxing and compressing in disuse
retirement among others of its kind
because I save all my notebooks.
I move on to other notebooks
but always with the option
to consult you
for what your pages contain
and for the chance to run my finger
over this line or that page
one more time.
3 thoughts on “Class Notebook”
The way you have evoked the textures of those pages – not just the crinkles of a used page but also the visual texture of all the notes – really appeals to me. I had actually kept all of my notes from my undergraduate degree up until the point that we emigrated. I had not actually referred to them in many years but I loved the texture of the pages and my own version of shorthand and my system for highlighting was a weird source of pride.
I still have the rough draft of my senior thesis in college – 100+ pages done on a typewriter, and handwritten insertions, and additions paper-clipped to the pages, and so on. It is a treasured possession for me.
Strangely enough, my thesis is the one thing I kept.
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