Friday, January 26, 2007

Friday Poetry Blogging - Poetry and Politics

This week, Mr. Bush gave the State of the Union speech. Or, for Washington "insiders" (or people who watch West Wing), PotUS gave SotU. I don't feel that I'm on a first name or insider basis with anyone in Washington, especially Bush, though, so I'm not going there.

I had a moment of hope during Bush's speech when he said that he thought medical decisions should be between a person and a doctor. But then I realized that "person" didn't include "woman" in Bush's way of thinking. Still, it was interesting that he chose to echo that language (or that some speech writer chose, maybe without realizing it?).

And of course, he didn't mention the efforts to rebuild New Orleans and the area hit hard by Katrina. Maybe he's forgotten. And from what I read, the efforts aren't going especially well.

In honor of all the politicking, I give you one of my favorite political poems, this by e.e. cummings, of the famous minuscule vs majuscule debate. Now, I know what you're thinking: "TWO recent posts mentioning authors who've lived within the past century! What depths of depravity and modernism will Bardiac sink to next?" But I assure you, I'll be back to my usual outdated, just plain old literature stuff before long.

"next to of course god america i
love you land of the pilgrims' and so forth oh
say can you see by the dawn's early my
country 'tis of centuries come and go
and are no more what of it we should worry
in every language even deafanddumb
thy sons acclaim your glorious name by gorry
by jingo by gee by gosh by gum
why talk of beauty what could be more beaut-
iful than these heroic happy dead
who rushed like lions to the roaring slaughter
they did not stop to think they died instead
then shall the voice of liberty be mute?"

He spoke. And drank rapidly a glass of water


  1. or that some speech writer chose, maybe without realizing it?

    If you think that a speechwriter could chose wording without understanding every conceivable inference that could be drawn from it, you're not giving the speechwriters enough credit. We pore over every poets, but without the graduate level English courses named after us.

  2. I think it may be an absolute travesty that I have read so little e.e. cummings....