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“Ode to the New York Times” a poem by Bill Jackson

by | Feb 16, 2022

Bill Jackson


February 8, 2022
5:00 a.m.




“Good Morning , A. G. Sulzberger,” Adolph Ochs, and Arthur Hays—whose reign as publisher began in the year of my birth…
Through the glorious years at Columbia University, on Riverside Drive, when the world opened up to me, in a different universe.

A tip of my Yankees cap to executive editor Dean Baquet, Les, and Sy, and Tom Wicker, originally of The Sandhill Citizen…and Ms. “Letters” Mermelstein.
On this damp, chilly, foggy morning, as I open the front door and begin the day with my intellectual companion: The New York Times!

 As I gaze at the shaft of light splitting the fog and striking the golden cross of St. Albans, the fountain gushing glistening water through the night…
At the giant oak limbs supporting the pregnant, overcast darkened sky, the dripping red camellia by the porch, the damp silence of the site.

My brain is soon flooded by absurd descriptions of “legitimate political discourse” at the Capitol on January 6;
Of the “gerrymander” beast stalking state legislatures…in N.C. and Alabama…with the blessing of the disappointing Supremes, five but not six .

Of number seven Duke falling to Virginia in the final seconds; of Davidson at # 24 in the polls; and the Tar Heels not even in the top twenty-five!
Of Bear Putin encircling prey; of Manchin/Sinema finagling (Welsh) Biden; of the pandemic syndrome: cause unclear two years into our daily lives?

Ah, but the air is fresh, with the pitter-patter sound of drizzling rain, condensation on the window panes, the street with a slick shine…
All combine to clear the head for a cozy read, in my rocking chair, of the venerable, indispensable, enduring “Gray Lady” Times.

William E. Jackson, Jr.

Through three careers--college professor, government official in Washington, and journalism - Bill Jackson has enjoyed poetry more than prose.

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