There are so many important things we should be discussing. I want to take up a comment by Dan from last month about Robert Hare's book, "Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go To Work." I want to discuss video games to teach economic systems that are alternatives to the free market. I could discuss my new academic studies of Aspergers syndrome. I could discuss how students are smarter than they used to be. We could discuss a million things.
But with those promissory notes, right now let me share something out of the blue: the state of contemporary poetry. I was a bit underwhelmed by the inaugural poem of Elizabeth Alexander, but hey, the themes that can be conveyed in a poem for an incoming president are so highly constrained that its not worth complaining about the poem's tepid content.
But let me complain about this poem, in the highly prestigious magazine, The Atlantic. Its about the secret life of a needle missing in a haystack. Wow. I was inspired to write a response (BTW, I know that poems that rhyme are considered Ewwwww).
All dressed up
I took my peek at poetry today,
Talented dears, you're all dressed up with nothing to say.
I know its art, let's emphasize form,
Until barely glimpsed abstractions become the norm.
We can almost forget, because you write so well,
That at the heart of the act you've so little to tell.
Why so little to tell....? We've been beaten down by the culture (by something?) into apapthy and momentary hedonism? Or poetry is yet another potent stirrer of human imagination and action, so it has had to be neutralized - or housebroken?