Friday, January 23, 2009

Inauguration Note

The "poem" read as part of the ceremonies was an embarassment for someone like myself who takes joy in listening to poetry-- to the music of poetry. The trend of simple-minded prose masquerading as poetry has to end! "Poets" themselves seem to forget that the art at one time was strictly memorized and spoken-- and so it depended on "Music"-- rhyme, alliteration, meter, euphony-- in order for it to be remembered. To be memorable, which the execrable poem read at the national celebration was not. Such a missed opportunity.

I was reading a bio of FDR by Conrad Black. The most memorable part of the book is when FDR quotes from an American poem-- as a message to be delivered by Wendell Wilkie to Churchill affirming solidarity to his cause. Churchill responded with some stanzas from a famous British work. What a literate age that was!-- when poetry could truly represent the best of a people and a culture.

The postmodern academy has given us nothing but quackery in poetry and prose alike. I envision this halting when a flood of new poets who understand the unbeatable power of the art form at its best take the stage.

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