I work in the academy of trees…

I think it was Gerrit Lansing (amazing poet living in Olson’s town Gloucester) who coined the concept of the ACADEMY OF TREES. If you’re a poet one of the few places you can sustain your lifestyle is in academia. Talking with Gerrit one evening I recall he said something like — poets don’t belong in the academy, unless it’s the academy of trees.

That’s a language game that only a poet could pull off so casually:

Academy comes from the Greek word “Akademeia” which referred to the “grove of Akademos.” Akademos was the legendary Athenian whose estate was where Plato taught his school.

So the Academy of Trees — Akademos’ grove — is a much better place for poets than academia because in the grove we can sit around in the shade, talking philosophy, eating figs, listening, falling asleep, etc. Those were the days…

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