I dedicate this yearly post
On the newly-done UD
To the drink I drink the most
And most adore: tea.
Coffee revs me up to teach.
Tea’s greater reach
Summons the muse.
I could go on about the brews
I steep and sip… bergamot-rich Earl Gray,
And Lady Gray (a less-known mix)
The milky chai you fix
In complex, subtle ways:
Honey, sugar, cardamom seed …
The way its sweet smoke, freed

To float around the room
Mingles with the smoke of a candle,
Also scented, to make romantic the gloom
Of an autumn night. Imagine sandal-
Wood coming off the pillar, and the fruity
Spice of Marco Polo, a moody
November evening, an aromatic log
In the kindling, and … the blog.
The blog, redesigned, beside the fiery
Hearth, hard by a porcelain cup,
Calling out for up-
Dates of University Diaries.

Before I settle
To sessions of bloggy thought,
I rise and return to the kettle
To brew another tea I bought:
Snowberry Pumpkin Ceylon…
Oh ship of tea, sail on!
All Thanksgiving praise
To oxidized haze,
To heat rising up from the swirl,
The pot scorched out,
Its Asian spout
A crackled pearl.
A hymn to the leaf serene.
A hymn to the black and green.

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10 Responses to “Thanksgiving Post”

  1. R.J. O'Hara Says:

    Tea: the foundation of a successful residential college.

  2. Mr. Bonzo Says:

    A student ruined Earl Grey for me by pointing out that it smells like the cereal Fruit Loops…

    Now you can’t say that about Assam.



  3. Jeffrey Kallberg Says:

    All the poem lacks is a couplet that attempts to rhyme "Hatto."

  4. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Since it’s all supposed to be tetrameter sonnets (I was inspired by Vikram Seth’s wonderful poem/novel, The Golden Gate), and since I now see that I’ve left a final couplet off of the middle stanza, maybe I’ll try to write the saga of Joyce Hatto in two tightly rhymed lines…

  5. vjesci Says:


    .a fine word to add to your tea-steeped vocabulary.

  6. Margaret Soltan Says:

    vjesci: Love it! There’s a tearoom in DC called Teaism, and that seems to me to fit nicely with Theic… Now let me go back to that page and see how Theic is pronounced…

  7. Margaret Soltan Says:



  8. University Diaries » A New UD Category: Tea. Says:

    […] not?  UD drinks it all the time, follows news of the Teapot Museum, writes poems in praise of it, and enjoys artsy pieces like this one, in the New York Times, about it.    […]

  9. University Diaries » Into that moment of windless calm. Says:

    […] written a poem for this blog about […]

  10. University Diaries » University Diaries… Says:

    […] say about the subject, and it is of course a category on this blog, since UD is a mad tea drinker. She pens poems to it… New Years stir deep thoughts, and some of the deepest thoughts have to do with tea. I’ll also […]

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