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Author Topic: The Poet as Bureaucrat
scifibum
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OSC wrote a political poem. It's worth reading, if you ask me.

If you don't want to read the essay, the poem is at the bottom.

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Viking_Longship
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The essay was not bad eithe'r if you care about poetry. If you hate poetry it might help to explain why.
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Viking_Longship
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Now that I think about it that critique is true for modern art. (It's not acceptable to the art community if it is intelligible by normal people)
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TomDavidson
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I love poetry, but can't stand Gioia's work. It always reads to me like he's formed the personal opinion that poetry should sound formal but isn't quite sure how to pull it off -- stiff, awkward, and struggling for depth. His tone is stuffy and classicist without being classical; his subjects are generally pretty trite, although they usually contain one decent metaphor. To be perfectly frank, I think there are at least three people on this forum who are better poets.

I don't get the sense with Gioia's poetry that he's having any fun; I sense that he's trying to mean something. And while it's great for a poem to mean things, it's deadly for a poem to sound like it's trying.

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Colin JM0397
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I was about to disagree, Tom, but I can't think of any good poems that try to mean something! All the stuff I like is subtle and deep without trying.
Though, I admit to being completely ignorant of modern poets - other than Shel Silverstein, of course [Wink]

Looking up his wiki page, here's an interesting tidbit: Silverstein was an accomplished song writer. He won a Grammy for writing "A boy named Sue" for Johnny Cash.

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scifibum
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OSC is really running with this political poetry thing. His latest essay, "Hillary under fire," contains another one. This one is a bit longer and more pointed.

I have to hand it to him - he actually had a valid point in that putting an essay in the form of a poem - or rhyme, if you prefer - can really enhance the message.

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munga
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Colin, I think I heard somewhere that Shel was also a racy cartoonist, and that this affected his ability to sell the chilren's books, which were fantastic.

I mean, remember the Giving Tree? I've read a thousand books in between and I could probably near-quote that book.

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kenmeer livermaile
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I met Shel's mother in Chicago back in the 70s. She worked in a thriftstore for the blind, wore an awful old-woman wig, and spoke adoringly of her son.
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Colin JM0397
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I heard he was into the swinger free love 70's thing, too... Too cool!
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kenmeer livermaile
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Shel was mostly gay, I understand.
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Jesse
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My friends mom passed herself around his commune for a few months around 1970. He took a few turns, according to her.

[ April 10, 2008, 02:14 PM: Message edited by: Jesse ]

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kenmeer livermaile
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Yeah, they were pushing the envelope back then. Naivete was the new wisdom fore awhile. Attempts to return to Eden invited the return of both the Snake and the Apple. The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil proved as stout as ever.
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