We're deep in the semester all of a sudden and my inbox is burgeoning with all kinds of texts to read and review. The most literary of the lot: proofing my own prose. It's a lot of donkey work for the next few weeks and I'm finding it hard to leave it behind even in my dreams.

Last night? I was an apprentice in a sighted (i.e. not blind) John Milton's print shop, keeping him company as he composed an elegy for John Donne. Then, I fashioned an ear of corn out of straw: the sole decoration on the pinecone wreath. He saw this as a delightfully frivolous touch and wondered aloud at how beautiful the other mourners would find it. He felt that he was really pulling out all the stops.

No Puritan, I knew that others would be leaving gaudy wreaths of yellow and gold mums. Still, I saw how starkly beautiful it was and thought that it would be the most unusual and glorious wreath in the graveyard.

Yes, it’s February.