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The essence of Winona (09/22/2013)
Part IX (Conclusion)

This poem on this place has four more long parts, with so much more to report,

Nonetheless I’ve decided it’s time to end it, so I’m going to cut it short,

And in the spirit of a considerate guest of a most gracious host,

Before we leave we’ll thank and acknowledge, the good ol’ Winona Post.

Now as we conclude, ‘cause we haven’t yet ended,

Let me say, this indecisive rambling was what I intended.

And careful was I never to mention, perhaps your very own first instinct,

Nor did I ever exactly come to tell you what it is that I really think.

For had I come out and just said it, that wouldn’t have been very fair,

And again since I knew, it’s what you might think, I left it up in the air.

No, it’s not in the name, though that’s a good try

And I’m a bit sorry that now I must say this,

For if I said that it is I’d be oh so remiss,

But it’s not Sugarloaf either, now go ahead and sigh.

So with your permission or even without it,

There’s one twofold question that I wish to ask,

The answer to which, make no bout adoubt it,

Will bring you full circle and put you to task.

Now were you in another part of the world, and read or heard the name “Winona,” would “Sugarloaf” come to mind?

Or if you saw an image of “Sugarloaf” would it conjure up the name “Winona” and images of the same kind?

Indeed for some it’s true, “Sugarloaf” is only a mere sight,

But for many people I’d venture to say, that it’s a mirror all right!

That reflects and triggers a visual flood of memories of special experiences,

Of key people, events and local scenery; a blurry barrage of bygone images.

That rapidly flickers and flashes by in our minds like some old time movie.

Indeed for some the name “Winona” elicits all that; which is it, you tell me!

For me, “Sugarloaf” would get the nod, if I had to sit and brood,

But since I don’t, I won’t, and this is what I’ve come to conclude

It’s neither in some landmark nor in a place’s name

That we can come to make some absolute claim

For no one thing captures the total essence of a place

In that way it’s something we’ll never fully embrace

So with all of the history, the bluffs and the river,

With all of the view, all nature can deliver,

What we can say for sure is we’re left with an experience, we can only later recall,

As some indescribable feeling we had as we moved about, in the presence of it all

To philosophize Winona is “unto itself its very essence,” spoils a good thing in a way,

And though that may be what Hegel would state, to that, “so what, what does that mean?” is what I have to say

Go now with your own notions, the feelings you have ‘bout this place,

Keeping in mind the closest you’ll get to “essence” may be a state of grace

Whatever that is

And please don’t get hung up on some thing that it isn’t, please don’t make that mistake,

Like we said in part one, in order to find it, just “take the path around the lake.”

Theodore L. Schoewe



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