Throwback Saturday with "Scop Wanted" from issue 296.2

Jeremiah Webster

Jeremiah Webster was a Finalists in the James Hearst Poetry Prize in 2011

As a teacher, Scop Wanted was my unabashed critique of the assessment culture that now dominates the American academy. In an attempt to foster higher learning standards and accountability, our poetic (the soulful yawp of Whitman) has been lost. As Kołakowski so eloquently states, “Culture, when it loses its sacred sense, loses all sense.” The irony, of course, is that great art is omnipresent in our time. One need only look for that still twitching arm of Grendel.


Scop Wanted

Suppose the genius
of language
is reverberation,
the way a word-beatific-
becomes more than a  tick the tongue prattles off
after the sounds have risen
from the hall of the human throat.

St. Ambrose was perhaps the first
to deny himself the pleasure
of reading aloud,
to let a word mean its sound
as we think of a heart
housing an immortal soul.

No wonder
students despise Beowulf,
the song of Heorot
dormant on desks.
The teacher is writing:



as the arm of Grendel
twitches even now at his feet.

Jeremiah Webster

Jeremiah Webster’s poetry has appeared in North American Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Crab Creek Review, The Midwest Quarterly, REAL, Dappled Things, Rock and Sling, Blue Canary, Ruminate, Euonia Review, and is forthcoming in Floating Bridge Review. He also wrote a critical introduction for Paradise in The Waste Land (Wiseblood Books), an anthology of T.S. Eliot’s early poems. He lives in the Pacific Northwest. Jeremiah was in issue 296.2. Spring 2011.

Illustration provided by: Briana Hertzog, an illustrator living and working in NOVA. Briana graduated with a BFA in Communication Arts from Virginia Commonwealth University. After graduation, she attended the Illustration Academy where she was mentored by a spectacular group of renowned illustrators. Hertzog is featured in Quail Bell Magazine and Pantone Canvas Gallery. Visit to see all her work.