To Her Coy Professor

(with an apology to Andrew Marvell)

by Richard Compean


If demands and schedules weren’t so tight

What a marvelous essay I would write.

I’d analyze Andy and his love

Take my inspiration from above

I’d read and write not coy but deep

Research by night instead of sleep.

Of course, I’d carpe more than diem

E’en bring Mona from the French museum.

I’d Google this, and Yahoo that

I’d Twitter and text, Facebook and chat.

I’d check EBSCO and JSTORS, even MLA

Make sure my essay would kick some A.

A month alone on the intro I’d spend

And at least a fortnight on the end.

A week I’d spend per paragraph

And be sure to always include a laugh.

My thesis would stir your heart and mind

Insight and wisdom you’d be sure to find.

Professor, you deserve such work

To prove to you I’m not a jerk.

But alas my paper is due next week

And grandma’s feeling kind of weak;

Mom’s drunk again, and dad’s asleep

And there are promises I have to keep.

Boyfriend Tom wants to jump my bones

And Billy’s got the PC on Game of Thrones.

I’m really not one who likes to whine,

But the boss has asked me to work overtime.

I’ve read the text, even taken some notes

But the boat I’m in just barely floats.

These aren’t excuses and they aren’t fake—

All I’m asking for is just a break.

So here’s the deal I’d like to make

To convince you that I’m not a flake.

My best shot though short is what you’ll see

It’ll be what it’ll be, but at least a C

I’ll critically think, dance an SLO,

Do my best to impress with what I know,

Write once, write twice—not just a draft,

Use some of the tools of the writer’s craft.

Thus, though I may not get an A

You’ll really like reading what I have to say.

Despite all odds I’ll pass your class

Do better than many another lass

And when I do you’ll remember me

As the one who earned a Lady’s C (+?).


Richard Compean holds both an MA and a Ph.D from UC Davis, and teaches comp and lit courses at San Francisco City College.