Friday, January 23, 2009

I have had some 'net conversations and inter- blog postings about the inaugural poem. One response to my posts was positive, but many sites are the provinces of poetry teachers and grad students with territory to be fiercely guarded. As a consequence, my remarks have been condemned as those of a philistine. My favorite was a dare to "try (my) own hand at it" before presuming to criticize, as if only union members had voting rights.
On an unrelated note, we are going to install a trap door under the floor of the poetry section. This will lead to the basement alligator pond. The trip wire will be triggered arbitrarily, ensnaring the beautiful as well as the damned.
Such is life. Nothing is "fair".

Posted to These guys did not like the poem, but their blog rejected my post. What's that all about?

This poem sounds like a class exercise. It is trite, inappropriate to the occasion, broken and disjointed. It was also read in a stilted and pretentious manner, with cadences and emphases adjusted to imply more depth than the words themselves conveyed.
Many apologists, mostly poetry teachers, are now defending the poem by use of the dopey explanation, "It's better than it sounds"! They are counseling careful readings and study of the piece, so that we unenlightened boobs can come to understand it. Had it been written for readers rather than a live audience it should have been printed up in a run of two million and handed out to this crowd of Americans who came to be witnesses to a moving and meaningful spectacle of the country's best and brightest - for real, this time. The time slot could then have been filled by a recording of Ray Charles singing "America". I would still be crying.

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