Paul T. Hopper


I sit before my computer enthroned in comfort.
I write ten lines of a poem, then erase all ten.
A quarter-hour of solitaire, till a shadow—
Alt Tab.

Spreadsheet I’m working on, slides I’ve put together;
this week’s report, expense account, and notes.
A quarter-hour of Hangman, till a reflection—
Alt Tab.

Paul T. Hopper, formerly an instructor of German and related subjects, became a translator in 1980, first for a private firm; 1981-82 for the Social Security Administration; 1982-1986 for the Department of the Navy; since 1986 for the Department of State. He does not goof off by playing solitaire or Hangman. He has published poems and translations of poems in various literary magazines; a few articles, mostly in newsletters. He belongs to a Toastmasters Club, and the Writer's Center in Bethesda.