Farewell to Tim Kenyon

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Tim's cake

The department bid Tim Kenyon a fond farewell on December 15.  Tim is leaving the University of Waterloo to take up the position of Vice President of Research at Brock University.  Tim has been a central figure in the Department of Philosophy and the Faculty of Arts for many years, serving as Chair of the Department and then as Associate Dean of Research for Arts.  There is much that can be said about Tim, but this poem by Gerry Callaghan sums up the important parts nicely:

Take Kenyon

’Twas Keats who wrote that beauty is truth,
Truth beauty,
That this is all we know on earth,
Withal it’s all we need to know,
To which I say, “Not so! Take Kenyon.”

A man for truth, ever there was,
Pursues it as a holy cause,
But as for beauty, dear oh dear,
I’ve seen him in his cycling gear,

Donned like a paint or second skin,
The man in full stuffed tight within—
The garish sheen, the harsh palette,
The gaud, and O the silhouette;

For this, I own I lack the words.
I’d have to speak in gasps and surds,
Though some there be could meet the task;
“Who,” you ask? Take Kenyon,

A wordsmith of the highest rank,
Though not for show, no mountebank
Is he, his terms so apt and clear,
Hard though they be upon the ear:

Take “sebaceous” or “incandescent,”
“Rebarbatively recrudescent,”
“Dispositive,” and on and on—
The stuff of truth, the death of song.

(In fairness, he’s not bad with songs;
I’ve heard him sing at sing-alongs.)

To Keats, then, is it such a shame
If truth and beauty aren’t the same?
Which, veracity or art,
Is injured when they come apart?

Neither!, for when truth is plain,
Beauty will rest and not complain.
Her hour will come around again;
’Til then, we’ll just take Kenyon.

Tim with word blurbs