One strange day in my youth, on a Monday, the headmaster, Mr. Werman, interrupted my English class and Mr. Plimpton’s lecture on the Romantics, Wordsworth in particular.
We were supposed to have read “Lines” the night before. I wasn’t paying much attention and was instead doodling lazy daydreams in my mind. Mr. Plimpton, when he recited lines of the poem, had a sleepy, deep, and sonorous voice.
Since I wasn’t paying attention, Mr. Plimpton called on me and asked, “How would you describe the force that Wordsworth believes connects us all to nature and to each other, Mr. Rowland?”
Before I could answer him, and long before the chilling fear of an audience could sink in, Mr. Werman entered, shuffled across the room, and whispered into the long raisiny ear of Mr. Plimpton. After a moment of listening, Mr. Plimpton said, “Edward, Mr. Werman would like to have a word with you.”