prayer for a paper


Lord of all Letters,

Let our words be worthy, our paragraphs perfect.

Let no bibliography go un-checked; let the spellcheck be just.

As the night goes swiftly on,

Let the coffee be bitter to better betray our beds.

Let us not have heart palpitations. Let us not over-dose on caffeine.

May our evidence be convincing, our pronouns correct, our citations sure.

Let none doubt that I sweated blood for this, and may the Art and Dance Majors feel bad.

And most merciful keeper of my glorious GPA,

(though how far have the mighty fallen!)

Let my professor be slightly sloshed while he grades this paper.

Blessed be Paul on the road to Damascus, his Gentiles, his tents!

Blessed be Luther and the storm, his holy rage, his faith alone!

Blessed be Augustine and the pear tree, his mother and his guilt!

Be it so. May they be good evidence for this paper. May they prosper in this endeavor.

But the Lord of Letters also provides justice for the unjust thinkers

Who have been the downfall of many an essay in times past.

Let my curses be heard in the campus quad,

And echo off the brick walls for the generations to come.

May Plato find a new cave and never come out!

May Socrates be denied his hemlock, since he takes so much pleasure in it!

May Descartes be forced to leave his armchair!

May Kant have ever-more new and obnoxious puns be made on his unfortunate name!

May Locke be a blank slate that is never written upon!

May Hobbes be nasty, brutish and short! May he be eaten by a Leviathan!

May Kierkegaard be engaged (and call it off) a thousand times over!

May Dante’s enemies be so bitter they, too, write an entire epic poem about him! Only him!

May Milton go blind! (Oh, he was?)

May Shakespeare have all the vowels in his name misplaced,

and may no one ever spell it correctly ever again! May his insults come back to haunt him!

May all early-American writers eat all their inane spellings of words like ‘is’, spelled ‘yz’!

May modern theologians be shackled to the weight of all their secondary clauses!

And may my paper be the kindling for the flames that consume them all!

© 2016 Anna-Christina Betekhtin, All Rights Reserved.

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