Mark Crovella

Measure the days you have left. Do just that labour
which marries your heart to your right hand: simplify
your life to one emblem, a sail leaving harbour
and a sail coming in.

Derek Walcott, Omeros

For Once, Then, Something
Robert Frost (1874–1963).
(First published in Harper’s Magazine, July 1920.)
OTHERS taunt me with having knelt at well-curbs
Always wrong to the light, so never seeing
Deeper down in the well than where the water
Gives me back in a shining surface picture
Me myself in the summer heaven, godlike        
Looking out of a wreath of fern and cloud puffs.
Once, when trying with chin against a well-curb,
I discerned, as I thought, beyond the picture,
Through the picture, a something white, uncertain,
Something more of the depths—and then I lost it.        
Water came to rebuke the too clear water.
One drop fell from a fern, and lo, a ripple
Shook whatever it was lay there at bottom,
Blurred it, blotted it out. What was that whiteness?
Truth? A pebble of quartz? For once, then, something.        
BU Today produced a very nice video of me reading this poem as part of the Favorite Poem Project. Please take a look at the video on YouTube.

Pebbles and marbles, like things on my mind
Seem to get lost and harder to find
When I am alone, I am inclined
If I find a pebble in sand
To think that it fell from my hand

from Pebbles and Marbles, Phish

Academic Lineage
PhD Year Institution
self-taughtJean Le Rond d'Alembert
1770?(joint) Pierre-Simon Laplace
self-taught(joint) Joseph Lagrange
1800Simeon PoissonEcole Polytechnique
1814Michel ChaslesEcole Polytechnique
1850Hubert NewtonYale
1885Eliakim MooreYale
1903Oswald VeblenUniversity of Chicago
1921Philip FranklinPrinceton
1950Alan PerlisMIT
1969Robert WagnerCMU
1978Robert CookVanderbilt University
1982Thomas LeBlancUniversity of Wisconsin
1994Mark CrovellaUniversity of Rochester
A list of my PhD students is here.
Thanks to Paul Barford for tracing our academic lineage.
More details, including lineage back to Leibniz, are available here.

Mark Crovella / / Since: Jun 22 1995