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Inaugural Poem

"On the Inauguration of Transylvania's Twenty-fifth President"

Richard Taylor


What lies beyond does not duplicate

the past - the acts, the words,

the regimental flags and willow work

that sketch at best a semblance

of our former selves.  Instead, here,

we reclaim what we can, the gist

of who we were, landmarks on the map

of our shared journey, the rivers

into which our own rivulets

and branches feed.  Here the waters

gather as a single stream

whose current holds the sum

of our accumulated past -

a richness whose legacy is our future,

a stream where lives are not so much

steered as readied to venture and extend.

So we enter into sunlight

to estimate the past and shape what lies ahead,

not as we color it in myth or fiction,

not to worship, but simply to know it

as it was so much as we can know it,

and in knowing offer clues

to who we were, we are, we will be.


Richard Taylor is the Kenan Visiting Writer at Transylvania and Former Poet Laureate of Kentucky.