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Sunday, September 16, 2018


by George Salamon

". . . time lost even at the U.. studying poetry and French and subjects that never brought anybody a cent." —Babbitt in Sinclair Lewis's Babbitt (1922).

What links poetry to politics?

Once political poems eulogized
Rulers and heroes.
We can no longer celebrate our rulers.
For they are hucksters and hustlers.
We write poetry about them
On accepted topics
Of outrage and  opposition,
Banning nuance and grace.
Poetry deals with eternal values,
While wearing its social badge.
Americans expect poetry to deliver
Inspiration or consolation.
When poetry stripped authority
Of its mythical cloak, it danced
To an anarchist muse,
More criticism than inspiration,
Seeing the world as does a child
In a Grimm fairy tale.
We were told, not long ago,
"After Auschwitz, no more poetry."
This bad advice was ignored, as poets
Listened instead to poets before them.
Poets are good disciples, still today,
But what happened to their antennas
For sensing the future?

George Salamon lives and writes in St. Louis, MO, where the American Dream met the New Global Economy and lost Round One.