My object in living is to unite.

Happy Poem in Your Pocket Day! Today I am carrying around the last stanza of Robert Frost’s “Two Tramps in Mud Time.”

The Arm of the Starfish

But yield who will to their separation,
My object in living is to unite
My avocation and my vocation
As my two eyes make one in sight.
Only where love and need are one,
And the work is play for mortal stakes,
Is the deed ever really done
For heaven and the future’s sakes.

If you share my affection for Madeleine L’Engle, it is possible that you have read The Arm of the Starfish, in which this stanza of “Two Tramps in Mud Time” was quoted (as you can see above). I didn’t have any idea what an avocation was when I read it. I think I had to ask my mom.

Several years later, at the end of my college career, I had to decide what I wanted to do with my life. I thought about what I am interested in and what I care about, my values, the things that are important to me. And I realized that I would not be happy taking my marketing degree and simply working for a company to promote and sell their products. I guess there’s a little bit of Lloyd Dobler in me, although I didn’t know who he was in 2001. With the idea of uniting my avocation and my vocation, I took the leap into library science. My master’s degree and my career are some of the things in my life that I am the most proud of. My job is certainly not play for mortal stakes, but I do like to think that some of what we do in the library is soul-shaping, and that the connections students make with books and ideas have something to do with heaven and the future. I would like to thank Robert Frost and Madeleine L’Engle for teaching me how important it is to do something that you would truly care about whether or not it was your profession. I am glad this is mine.

Are you carrying a poem today? Have you posted about it? Share it (or your post) in the comments and help celebrate Virtual Poem in Your Pocket Day here!

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  1. […] today is Poem In Your Pocket Day (Thanks for the tip, Kari). I didn’t know that was today until I was already home, but as soon as I found out I knew […]

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