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[P]
Poets Against the War

By kpaul in Op-Ed
Mon Feb 10, 2003 at 07:02:32 AM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

In late January of this year, Mrs. Bush decided to cancel a poetry symposium, "Poetry and the American Voice," regarding the poetry and legacy of Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman and Langston Hughes. She cancelled over fears the event might become too political. Noelia Rodriguez, spokeswoman for first lady Laura Bush, was quoted as saying, "While Mrs. Bush respects the right of all Americans to express their opinions, she, too, has opinions and believes it would be inappropriate to turn a literary event into a political forum."

Sam Hamill, founder of Copper Canyon Press, declined his invitation and sent out a call on the 'net for all poets to muster up some courage and write up some anti-war poems. Some of the almost instantaneous 1,500 contributors included the likes of W.S. Merwin, Adrienne Rich and Lawrence Ferlinghetti. The number has since more than doubled.


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Now, I guess the White House can cancel a poetry symposium if they so desire and the majority of the populace won't mind. (Hey, it's not like they're cancelling the SuperBowl or something important, right?) But it just doesn't sit right with me, especially considering the poetry of Hughes and Whitman, not to mention Dickinson.

On February 2, Colette Bancroft wrote an op/ed piece for the St. Peterburg Times in which she asked basically the same question. She pointed out that the three poets who were to be honored at the cancelled February 12th event would have most likely been against the war we currently find ourselves faced with.

In the piece, Bancroft also talks to poet Li-Young Lee, who points out that, "What's so strange is that Laura Bush doesn't want these poets to use the forum for politics, but her negating them is itself a political act."

The events haven't been a 'big' news item in the mainstream press very much (better to spend an entire day explaining to cable TV viewers that we're now on 'orange' alert, but that it doesn't mean to stop going to the mall to shop or cease going out to eat...)

The story has caused quite a ruckus in certain literary circles on the 'net, though, with poets on both sides of the fence fiercely debating the upcoming conflict and its ramifications.

A few days ago, a chap named Roger Kimball wrote up a scathing analysis of the situation for the more civilized populace, explaining what was happening. Kimball wrote,
What apparently does play well is the feverish, self-righteous rhetoric of protest. According to Mr. Hamill, "the only legitimate response" to the president's "morally bankrupt" plans for Iraq is "to reconstitute a Poets Against the War movement like the one organized to speak out against the war in Vietnam."

Ah, the Vietnam War! The days of pot and poses. What a godsend to infantilizing irresponsibility that era was. Dodge the draft, and you are making a "moral statement." Join a protest march, and you are striking a blow against "U.S. imperialism." Sign a petition, and you are "showing solidarity with the oppressed."
What makes me wonder is the fact that the symposium was called, "Poetry and the American Voice." Would it be so wrong to continue the event even if the American poetic voice was against the neverending war?

Hamill has set up a Poets Against the War website containing all the entries he's received thus far. Well, the ones he's been able to post. I've offered my services to help them set up a CMS for all the poetry, but I haven't heard back from them yet.

On the website, Hamill has this to say, "I am asking every poet to speak up for the conscience of our country and lend his or her name to our petition against this war, and to make February 12 a day of Poetry Against the War. We will compile an anthology of protest to be presented to the White House on that afternoon."

While poets may not be as well recognized or as well respected in the United States, I think this is the time to give them a listen. Peace.

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Poll
War
o is never the answer. 16%
o is sometimes the only choice. 17%
o is a regretable necessity in our world. 18%
o is a population control method. 6%
o is stupidity. 21%
o and rumors of war are a sign of the times. 9%
o isn't as bad as it used to be. 2%
o will kickstart the economy in the United States. 9%

Votes: 122
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o cancel a poetry symposium
o scathing analysis
o Poets Against the War website
o Also by kpaul


Display: Sort:
Poets Against the War | 181 comments (174 topical, 7 editorial, 0 hidden)
Thank god for for my trusty 'AirPort' 802.11! (1.21 / 28) (#1)
by Hide The Hamster on Sun Feb 09, 2003 at 01:45:21 PM EST

Here I sit,
all broken hearted.
I tried to shit,
but I only farted.


Free spirits are a liability.

August 8, 2004: "it certainly is" and I had engaged in a homosexual tryst.

Please, moderators, parent is spam (2.00 / 3) (#40)
by greenrd on Sun Feb 09, 2003 at 08:12:47 PM EST

Textbook case for a 0 moderation.

You might think it's funny, but it's still spam. Double standards, slippery slope, etc.


"Capitalism is the absurd belief that the worst of men, for the worst of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." -- John Maynard Keynes
[ Parent ]

eh? (none / 0) (#43)
by dr k on Sun Feb 09, 2003 at 08:51:02 PM EST

Please share with us your definition of spam. Be sure to include some reference to relativity, as per your .sig.


Destroy all trusted users!
[ Parent ]

It's poetry, silly Billy. (none / 0) (#90)
by Hide The Hamster on Mon Feb 10, 2003 at 08:09:55 PM EST

Quite on-topic. ^_^


Free spirits are a liability.

August 8, 2004: "it certainly is" and I had engaged in a homosexual tryst.

[ Parent ]
American voice, my ass (3.29 / 17) (#2)
by Lode Runner on Sun Feb 09, 2003 at 02:08:14 PM EST

Unless America's vital center can now be found loafing on the banks of the Seine, these poet(aster)s aren't conveying what the bulk of public feels about Saddam.

Meanwhile, the new right has some fairly solid arguments against this wave of anti-war poesy.

Not Saddam... (3.80 / 5) (#3)
by kpaul on Sun Feb 09, 2003 at 02:32:59 PM EST

the *war* - the long, long, long thing they're talking about waging after warming up in Afghanistan.

I don't think anyone would come out and say that Saddam is a good person. Certainly not me.

However, some in this country do see problems with this whole 'preemptive' strategy not being good for the country. To listen to Fox or some of the other Fair and Balanced news outlets, the war is going to stop (not start) the next world war.

I feel the United States is somewhat responsible for the situation seeing how we as a country (well, certainly not the *majority* of the American public - i.e. the rich) sold Iraq (and Iran!) weapons for mutual desteruction and destablization in that region.

All I'm saying is that those against the war have a voice that needs to be heard as well and that we as a country need to seriously consider any potential ramifications of moving more towards a 'preemptive' state of being.

I seriously doubt poets will have enough of a voice to stop the war that has already begun, but I still think it important for people to think about what's going on in the world at large.

Besides, if these indeed are the end times prophecied many, many years ago, the war will happen or not happen according to God's plan.

I just pray that Bush reads up on what Jesus Christ actually taught - i.e. love your enemies, etc.


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]
let's be honest here (3.77 / 9) (#34)
by Lode Runner on Sun Feb 09, 2003 at 05:46:17 PM EST

I still think it important for people to think about what's going on in the world at large.

Do you really want people to think or do you want to push a narrow antiwar agenda on them? Would you be willing to give Saddam's victims a voice even if what they have to say undermines your position?

WWJD if (H/h)e were confronted by Saddam? He'd die, horribly.

[ Parent ]

Honesty (4.00 / 3) (#36)
by kpaul on Sun Feb 09, 2003 at 06:11:01 PM EST

Do you really want people to think or do you want to push a narrow antiwar agenda on them?

Yes, I really want them to think, to see both sides of the story, to see that 'collateral damage' is more than just a term.

Would you be willing to give Saddam's victims a voice even if what they have to say undermines your position?

In this situation or something else? In this situation, if they were poets for the war then by all means they could've spoke up too.

Should those who are victimized be given a voice in general? Yes, and not only those oppressed by Saddam.

And Jesus said, "The Meek shall inherit the Earth..."


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]
here's the basic problem: (3.71 / 7) (#42)
by Lode Runner on Sun Feb 09, 2003 at 08:49:58 PM EST

the poets aren't speaking up for Saddam's victims. Instead, they're grandstanding against Bush, cloaking themselves in antiwar morality all the while. AFA I'm concerned, these artists have zero moral authority, so your whining that they're not being given a platform is lost on me.

Scripture asserts that the meek shall inherit the earth, but history proves that the exact opposite is the case.

[ Parent ]

Nobody's speaking for the victims.. (none / 0) (#78)
by mordant1123 on Mon Feb 10, 2003 at 02:25:31 PM EST

Let's be honest here-- the victims are a convenient pretext for war, but that's all. Their collective suffering is a tool for invoking sympathies for a 'war of liberation', but obviously isn't a big factor in the private rationale. How can we tell?
I understand that there are many humanitarian reasons to want Saddam's regime ended.
I think (for the above reasons, among others) that these reasons are irrelevant to Bush's drive for war.
I (despite my feelings on the humanitarian point above) find abominable the exploitation of a long-overlooked plight to shore up a weakened case for war previously founded on the pillars of noncompliance and WMD threat.
I would have a much different view of the push for military action (as well as a different vision of the end results of same) had the original goals been humanitarian, but as things stand, I object to the spin.

-----
"There is no intellient opposition to white nationalism." - Johnny Walker
[ Parent ]
Guardian variety ripostes won't cut it (none / 0) (#81)
by Lode Runner on Mon Feb 10, 2003 at 06:15:13 PM EST

There's a lacuna in your chronology: the 1990s and beyond. Remember how Saddam got 100% of the vote with 100% participation last year? It's a sign that he's doing bad things even when he's not sucking from the American teat.

Honestly, if you "understand that there are many humanitarian reasons to want Saddam's regime ended," then why are your ilk obstructing the planned invasion of Iraq instead of guiding through cooperation? For all your boilerplating, it's clear you feel that challenging American hegemony is more important that Iraqis' most basic rights.

Yugoslavia, 1999: there was no UN resolution permitting an attack; America just went in and bombed Slobo into submission, and got a resolution later. The Russians, China, Greece, Iraq, and the Guardian all lined up against the operation to protect Kosovo. Have you no memory?



[ Parent ]

footnote to 1999 (none / 0) (#91)
by adequate nathan on Mon Feb 10, 2003 at 08:22:26 PM EST

Soon after the bombs stopped falling, the Germans essentially bought the entire country of Serbia at discount prices.

Nathan
"For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
-Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
[ Parent ]

It's a slippery slope. (none / 0) (#125)
by tkatchev on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 03:44:46 AM EST

You see, by your reasoning, we should all invade the U.S. and institute a puppet regime there. After all, you are being run by an unstable dictatorial maniac in posession of weapons of mass destruction.

That means I have all the right to bomb your house and kill your children, no?

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

except (none / 0) (#142)
by Lode Runner on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 12:31:32 PM EST

that as an American my rights are nice and secure. Would I want Europeans invading and imposing their censorship regime on me? Well, I like my freedom of speech and I'd be willing to fight anyone who tries to take it away.

[ Parent ]
Are they? (none / 0) (#148)
by kpaul on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 01:17:36 PM EST

that as an American my rights are nice and secure

patriot act II


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]
the ACLU (none / 0) (#150)
by Lode Runner on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 01:29:40 PM EST

counts me a member. PAII won't get anywhere if it infringes on the freedom of speech. There's no European equivalent to the ACLU, which is one reason why European governments can get away with so much.

Note that the ACLU has clashed several times with IndyMedia because the latter doesn't actually believe in freedom of expression.

[ Parent ]

Thx for the linkage. [mt] (none / 0) (#154)
by kpaul on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 06:16:05 PM EST


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]
Will war improve human rights? (none / 0) (#129)
by DonQuote on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 05:15:57 AM EST

For all your boilerplating, it's clear you feel that challenging American hegemony is more important that Iraqis' most basic rights.

And what makes you think that the plight of the Iraqi people will be significantly improved by whatever puppet regime the US sets up? Even if there is some marginal improvement, is it worth the countless civilian lives that will fall and the destabilization of the region due to a long and protracted military campaign?

-DQé
... Use tasteful words. You may have to eat them.
[ Parent ]

was Afghanistan worth (none / 0) (#141)
by Lode Runner on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 12:27:26 PM EST

millions of people starving? No. But did millions starve? No to that too.

Same goes for Iraq, which is why the millions-will-die line of reasoning has zero credibility at this point.

[ Parent ]

My ilk? Why Lode Runner.. I had no idea.. (none / 0) (#144)
by mordant1123 on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 12:37:38 PM EST

I don't think I was 'obstructing the planned invasion here'.. I believe I was calling the sudden interest in 'Iraqis' most basic rights' for what it was. Keeping track of historical trends in policy is hardly boilerplating.

Looking at 'the 1990s and beyond' I seem to recall that when there were troops on the ground and the defenses of Iraq were by-and-large crippled, it wasn't a priority for Bush Sr. to remove Saddam from power. I remember Ritter's reports on the state of Iraq's WMD programs, and I remember leaving the Kurdish uprising out on a limb (probably in part to pacify Turkish concerns about the establishment of an independant Kurdistan).
I don't remember a big outcry from people other than those whom I guess you're identifying as my 'ilk' about the 'basic rights' of the Iraqis.

I think that I made it clear above that were ensuring the protection of the 'basic rights' of Iraqis a real objective, I would have a much different take on the planned invasion. Tragically, I can't find this to be the case (see the items in my post above).
Americans have a history of engaging themselves in righteous wars, and 'doing the right thing'. As well, there is a history of American 'wars of liberation' that were only about doing 'the right thing (for me)'.
I want Bush to make his case, and not flounder around for the best polling cause.

On my research sins--
I used the Guardian because it came up in the top 10 in Google-News for the search I did-- the same reason I used the Washington Post, and the other links. I could have gone through the other 19 pages to find a journal more suitable to you, but I didn't care to.. You're welcome to come up with references to counter, you know, and I'd be really interested in reading them.
I won't even require that you use FAIR as a source. :)

-----
"There is no intellient opposition to white nationalism." - Johnny Walker
[ Parent ]

I supose you think... (none / 0) (#110)
by dikaiopolis on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 12:00:17 AM EST

that all those incredibly rich and powerful execs are the cream of the crop in terms of intelligence and strength ;)
gnoske seauton
[ Parent ]
another zero?! (5.00 / 3) (#57)
by Lode Runner on Mon Feb 10, 2003 at 02:46:13 AM EST

Did I just get zeroed for blasphemy? God I hope so. . .

[ Parent ]
respnses. (4.00 / 1) (#109)
by dikaiopolis on Mon Feb 10, 2003 at 11:57:12 PM EST

anti-war isn't an agenda, an agenda is a clear and concise goal. Peace is not clear or concise. And hell yeah I'd be willing to give Saddam's victims a voice, I'd be willing to give anyone a voice. That's just the point.

Hey, before you invoke We Want Jack Danials... anyway, wtf? And I don't know if this is relevant since that statement seems to have no point whatsoever, Jesus did die horribly, and it wasn't at the hands of those infidel muslims either.
gnoske seauton
[ Parent ]

Solid arguments? Not really (4.11 / 9) (#6)
by pyramid termite on Sun Feb 09, 2003 at 02:52:50 PM EST

Trying to coopt an art form by inviting poets to the White House is a political act. It's an attempt to claim the power of poetry, such as it is, for shoring up political power, something the article itself recognizes as wrong when it criticizes Adrienne Rich for letting political concerns overwhelm poetic ones. Poetry does not exist as a support to the state, neither does it exist as a cause against the state. It simply is, and to invite it into your house is to take the chance that it will say things that you don't want to hear, or consider. Mrs. Bush, when she discovered that poets and poetry have no obligation to be polite or silent, reconsidered her luncheon. That's not an act of censorship, simply a recognition that the government has no power over poetry and was foolish to think it could claim one.

As far as poets not conveying what the bulk of the public feels about Saddam, it's not their responsibility to do so. If you feel this needs to be expressed, it's YOUR responsibility. If you're not willing or able to put your art where your sympathies lie, don't complain when others fail to do it for you.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
what bugs me (4.16 / 6) (#9)
by Lode Runner on Sun Feb 09, 2003 at 03:15:32 PM EST

is that these poets are claiming that their art is a manifestation of my sympathies. They don't represent me or the general public, and it would be nice if they acknowledged this.

I've had the pleasure of putting my art where my sympathies lie. It's tremendous fun.

[ Parent ]

Well ... (2.50 / 2) (#13)
by pyramid termite on Sun Feb 09, 2003 at 03:57:12 PM EST

these poets are claiming that their art is a manifestation of my sympathies.

They should know better.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
More offensive... (5.00 / 3) (#55)
by cr8dle2grave on Mon Feb 10, 2003 at 02:34:34 AM EST

...is the posturing which suggests that true poetry must, of necessity, speak with the voice of youth, of radical dissent, of unrestrained emotionalism, and yield only to the counsel of a reflexive contrarianism.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
not ad-hominem. (none / 0) (#108)
by dikaiopolis on Mon Feb 10, 2003 at 11:51:11 PM EST

Cradle, you are a reflexive contrarian.
gnoske seauton
[ Parent ]
a zero?! (3.33 / 3) (#56)
by Lode Runner on Mon Feb 10, 2003 at 02:40:44 AM EST

What did I do to deserve censorship? Transgress lefty mores? Complain that some poet wasn't speaking for me? What?

[ Parent ]
sigh. (none / 0) (#111)
by dikaiopolis on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 12:14:12 AM EST

Would that the public felt about Saddam what the poets are conveying.

But since the public feels as it does, I think I should write my own poem since they're too illiterate and TV-zombified to write their own. Oh, and this poem is copywritten, k5 owes me 7cents every time one of you reads it.

PAX AMERICANA Saddam is a monster, he gasses children, eats puppies, and
kills kittens by masturbating.
he hurts so many people
why doesn't God kill him
WE will kill him and destroy his country
with gleaming steal and electricity pumping through
laser-guided destruction on wheels
The sky will be black with super-high-tech undetectable planes, to make a desert out of Iraq, with fire raining like the apocalypse
WE will get those terrorist bastards for what they did to so and so. Those infidels.
On the other hand fuck it... you idiots want to believe lies, go for it. It's sure going to suck when you destroy the place though. I particularly like the Nevada Highlands, where there are lakes and fields of wild onions. Maybe they'll survive. Shurg.
gnoske seauton
[ Parent ]
So? (3.28 / 7) (#4)
by Ken Arromdee on Sun Feb 09, 2003 at 02:44:43 PM EST

Just because the event was about poets, and the protests involved poems doesn't mean that the protestors belonged at the event.

Imagine that you were holding anti-war seminars to stop the killing in some war (maybe Iraq or Afghanistan) and an anti-abortion group tried to hijack the seminar under the rationale that since millions of fetuses are being killed, they belong at an event that is titled "Stop the Killing".

Bad analogy, they were poets who were invited. (3.00 / 3) (#5)
by kpaul on Sun Feb 09, 2003 at 02:49:24 PM EST

It wasn't, afaik, going to be a mass demonstration. Rather, poets who had been invited letting it be known that they opposed the war - seeing how the event was titled Poetry and the American Voice, I don't see how it could be a bad thing.

Do you agree that it was just as 'political' to cancel the event?

thx.


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]
Not quite. (4.00 / 1) (#22)
by subversion on Sun Feb 09, 2003 at 04:18:41 PM EST

One poet, who had been invited, decided to solicit explicitly anti-war contributions from poets who had not been invited to present at the White House.

If you disagree, reply, don't moderate.
[ Parent ]
From the AP article... (none / 0) (#25)
by kpaul on Sun Feb 09, 2003 at 04:42:30 PM EST

He encouraged those who planned to attend to bring along anti-war poems.

Along the way, though, many more have solicited poems.
2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]
Just as? (4.50 / 2) (#54)
by cr8dle2grave on Mon Feb 10, 2003 at 01:56:29 AM EST

Do you agree that it was just as 'political' to cancel the event?

Well, as the feminists have been claiming for years, "the personal is political." Everything can be said to have a political dimension, but do you recognize the obvious difference between attempting to hijack an event intended to celebrate important historical figures and canceling that event once it became obvious that there were those who intended to turn it into a forum for an unrelated political agenda?

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Collaborative Media Poetry? (4.12 / 8) (#10)
by Seth Finkelstein on Sun Feb 09, 2003 at 03:38:22 PM EST

Regarding setting up a Content Management System, for a moment, I had a vision of user-moderated anti-war poetry rating and scoring. I was afraid we'd end up with

Roses are red
Violets are blue
bombs are bad
though Iraq is too

More seriously though, it might be interesting experiment to see what came out of such a scoring system (but beware trolls!)

-- Seth Finkelstein
Modern poets don't rhyme (5.00 / 8) (#12)
by godix on Sun Feb 09, 2003 at 03:47:00 PM EST

Instead the poem would be:

Rose are red
Violets are blue
Lets destroy the authoritarian regime of the US
And stop globalism too!

Wait, that rhymes. And makes some sort of sense. Hmm, let me try again:

 Roses are as red as the blood of Iraqis running on the desert sand.
 Violets are as blue as a child who just had his mother killed by a 1000 LB bomb.
 So lets all support a mass murdering madman.
 Bush is a twinkie, Ashcroft is a racism pinhead.
 Bobabooey, Howard Stern, bobabooey, Howard Stern.



You son of a bitch!
- RyoCokey Parent ]

Heh (4.66 / 9) (#16)
by pyramid termite on Sun Feb 09, 2003 at 04:05:47 PM EST

so much depends upon a
starbucks window
smashed on the sidewalk

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
YES! (none / 0) (#107)
by dikaiopolis on Mon Feb 10, 2003 at 11:45:01 PM EST


gnoske seauton
[ Parent ]
Modernism is dead [n/t] (none / 0) (#96)
by cdyer on Mon Feb 10, 2003 at 10:06:12 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Good (2.28 / 7) (#11)
by godix on Sun Feb 09, 2003 at 03:40:11 PM EST

Not everything has to be about the Iraq war or anti-US protests. The point of this event was to honor a few fellow poets but some protesters decided to hijack the event to promote their own goals. I think Mrs Bush did the right thing, if they want to protest let them organize their own event. It's kind of sad that the protesters aren't letting anyone honor Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman and Langston Hughes; but I guess that proves that no one cares about poets, even other poets.


You son of a bitch!
- RyoCokey
Blah (3.50 / 2) (#14)
by pyramid termite on Sun Feb 09, 2003 at 03:59:40 PM EST

You don't honor poets by having lunches - you honor them by reading and remembering them.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
poetry symposium (4.00 / 1) (#19)
by godix on Sun Feb 09, 2003 at 04:16:43 PM EST

I thought people did read poetry at a poetry symposium. Wasn't that the point of the article, that at least one poet was going to try reading anti-war poetry?

I could easily be wrong, poetry is one of those art forms I never liked much so I don't know much about it.


You son of a bitch!
- RyoCokey Parent ]

She should have known better (5.00 / 1) (#30)
by pyramid termite on Sun Feb 09, 2003 at 05:13:24 PM EST

Wasn't that the point of the article, that at least one poet was going to try reading anti-war poetry?

And why wouldn't he? That's the risk one takes at a reading of poetry, that something will be said that will offend people or argue with something that others agree with. Mrs. Bush was naive to think that anything else would have happened.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
No. (4.00 / 1) (#33)
by Ken Arromdee on Sun Feb 09, 2003 at 05:34:47 PM EST

According to the article itself, it wasn't a "reading of poetry", it was a symposium dealing with three particular poets. While an audience of poets was also invited, the audience wasn't supposed to be there to write or read their own poems.

They seemed to think that poems about the Iraq war belonged there on the grounds that the event is about poems and those are poems. Not so; it was about *specific* poems (and poets).

[ Parent ]

Perhaps, but ... (3.50 / 2) (#35)
by pyramid termite on Sun Feb 09, 2003 at 05:46:27 PM EST

... poetic discussions can go far away from the original topic, and that's something poets tend to accept as useful and usual. (And those with an axe to grind are only too happy to help things along.)

There's something that hasn't been touched upon that kind of puzzles me - some people seem to think that it's wrong to discuss political issues in the White House. Some people seem to think that the President should have the right to be isolated from those who disagree with his policies.

Last time I checked, it's our White House and the President is our employee - can't the President take a little heat? I hope he gets fired next year. I'm getting tired of this attitude that the American people shouldn't be able to tell him to his face that they think he's wrong about something.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Perhaps not (none / 0) (#44)
by Ken Arromdee on Sun Feb 09, 2003 at 09:02:50 PM EST

poetic discussions can go far away from the original topic,

In this case, it's pretty obvious that they did this specifically because the President was involved and they wanted to make a political statement, not because it naturally arose out of the discussion. I could justify just about any political topic by connecting it in some manner to poetry; that wouldn't make it appropriate.

some people seem to think that it's wrong to discuss political issues in the White House.

Look at it this way: some people seem to think that the White House is for nothing else *but* discussing political issues. That's wrong too. If you're going to allow politics into an unrelated discussion simply because the White House is involved, then every single event the White House got involved in would turn into a forum for whatever sore points people have against the current administration. Can you imagine Clinton trying to do a poetry seminar and instead being read a thousand poems about Monica Lewinsky?

[ Parent ]

Natural? (5.00 / 2) (#49)
by pyramid termite on Sun Feb 09, 2003 at 10:39:24 PM EST

In this case, it's pretty obvious that they did this specifically because the President was involved and they wanted to make a political statement, not because it naturally arose out of the discussion.

It's my belief that houses of government are not a natural place for poetry, any more than an executive office would be, although Mao and Wallace Stevens managed in these places.

Poetry is untamed language. If you invite the wild into your domain, expect the unexpected - do not expect linear discussion, limited viewpoints and artificial distinctions.

Look at it this way: some people seem to think that the White House is for nothing else *but* discussing political issues.

Well, Mr. and Mrs. Bush should be used to it by now as they've agreed to live there.

If you're going to allow politics into an unrelated discussion simply because the White House is involved, then every single event the White House got involved in would turn into a forum for whatever sore points people have against the current administration.

Oddly enough, if you contribute the right amount of money to the ruling party, it can be just that, can't it? If Enron associates can take issue with the President's policies why shouldn't poets?

Can you imagine Clinton trying to do a poetry seminar and instead being read a thousand poems about Monica Lewinsky?

Now that would have ruled ...

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
hehe. (none / 0) (#106)
by dikaiopolis on Mon Feb 10, 2003 at 11:42:30 PM EST

Poetry is untamed language. If you invite the wild into your domain, expect the unexpected - do not expect linear discussion, limited viewpoints and artificial distinctions.
Yeah no shit; artificial distinctions such as "the right time and place" and "appropriate" and "objectionable" and "art vs. politics". Sometimes I don't see where people come up with this shit.

Can you imagine Clinton trying to do a poetry seminar and instead being read a thousand poems about Monica Lewinsky?
Now that would have ruled ...
On the other hand, I don't think 'poets' really give a golf ball in a lake about Monica Lewinsky... I always thought that that was the domain of bored housewives. If I had been a poet invited to a tea party with clinton, I think it probably would have been... Bosnia and the microsoft antitrust case. Certainly more likely that than grecian urns.


gnoske seauton
[ Parent ]

Yes the old "you made me do it" bit (none / 0) (#123)
by amarodeeps on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 01:33:12 AM EST

It's kind of sad that the protesters aren't letting anyone honor Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman and Langston Hughes; but I guess that proves that no one cares about poets, even other poets.

Uh...so you are saying that because poets were invited to speak, and decided to speak what they wanted to rather than what one might guess Laura thought would be *ahem*...politic...they are showing uncaring and disrespect for Emily D., Walt W., Langston H.? Seems more like Laura doesn't want poetry to be anything but what she thinks it should be actually, and that is more disrespectful toward art and poetry than anything. She can't have her cake and eat it too, you know.



[ Parent ]
Another viewpoint (3.90 / 11) (#15)
by subversion on Sun Feb 09, 2003 at 04:03:55 PM EST

Leonard Garment had an op-ed in the NYT about this event, and the attempt by an invitee to turn it into a political platform.

The basic point was this.  Artists complain when the government tries to cut funding to unpopular art (NEA and all that), and claim art and politics shouldn't be mixed like that.

Garment makes the point that these artists should then not mix politics and art in the way that the poets invited to the Bush party did.

Me, I think artists have a right to free expression, but Mrs. Bush has a right not to listen if she so chooses.  It's my party and I'll cry if I want to.

If you disagree, reply, don't moderate.

Lawrence Ferlenghetti said ... (4.50 / 2) (#21)
by pyramid termite on Sun Feb 09, 2003 at 04:17:33 PM EST

... in a book of interviews called "The San Francisco Poets", David Meltzer, ed. -

"From my point of view, which I admit is disputable, poets and little presses are being bought off. Any one of them that took the money would say, 'No, that's not true. We are free to do what we want with the money.' But it's logical that if you're a real Bad Boy the first year, you won't get the grant renewed."

...

"I figure it is important to lead the kind of life where you don't have to take grants from any organization. You have to make it on your own without any help. At any point you can tell them to go fuck themselves. And not only can but do tell them."

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Good quote. (none / 0) (#97)
by cdyer on Mon Feb 10, 2003 at 10:13:03 PM EST

Reminds me of one I was taught when I was 12, and told to use with my teachers:

"If you can't say fuck, you can't say, 'Fuck the government.'"

Cheers,
Cliff

[ Parent ]

The leftivists are unconscionable. (3.76 / 13) (#17)
by Noam Chompsky on Sun Feb 09, 2003 at 04:08:34 PM EST

Not content to remain shut out from CNN and its sister networks the various state departments, they now presume the right to speak their mind and offend the Stepford wives. You can dress these people up for anti-war rallies, but you can't invite them anywhere.

--
Faster, liberalists,

welcome noam (1.00 / 2) (#20)
by turmeric on Sun Feb 09, 2003 at 04:17:13 PM EST

unfortunately k5 is a 'women only' space. we are afriad we will have to ask you to leave.

[ Parent ]
Please reconsider. (1.83 / 6) (#23)
by Noam Chompsky on Sun Feb 09, 2003 at 04:27:16 PM EST

"Iraq is like a box of chocolates: A general theory of Iraq," by Noam Chompsky.
Saddam felt a stirring in his loins as the female Kurdish prisoner was led before him.
   Why Saddam, why?

Saddam subscribed Rusty Foster to the goatse.cx newsletter, chortled fiendishly, and threw another Kurd at the German Sheppard.
   Why Saddam, why?

Saddam fancies he can feel the presence of Jews in a crowd by touching the men inappropriately.
   Why Saddam, why?

While watching The Diary of Anne Frank, Saddam blurted out, "She's in the uppermost floors of the back annex!"
   Why Saddam, why?

Better?

--
Faster, liberalists, Parent ]

Poll Write-in Vote: (3.50 / 6) (#18)
by ti dave on Sun Feb 09, 2003 at 04:12:42 PM EST

It ain't nothing but a heartbreaker, friend only to the undertaker.

Watch for Ice!

I have to agree... (2.20 / 5) (#24)
by Sairon on Sun Feb 09, 2003 at 04:33:45 PM EST

It just doesn't seem like honoring great poets is the place to be making political statements.

Jared

No ... (4.00 / 1) (#32)
by pyramid termite on Sun Feb 09, 2003 at 05:15:32 PM EST

... it doesn't seem as though great poets need the government's honoring them.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Poetry and political comment (4.33 / 3) (#38)
by jman11 on Sun Feb 09, 2003 at 07:05:12 PM EST

You are correct sir, poetry and political comment have never and should never be associated with each other.  A similar thing goes for any form of commentry  provided by poetry.

Poetry is for nothing more than musings on lost loves, the shapes of clouds and how beautiful spring morns are.

[ Parent ]

well, actually, (3.00 / 1) (#45)
by llimllib on Sun Feb 09, 2003 at 09:15:33 PM EST

it doesn't seem like "honoring great poets" is a place at all...

Peace.
[ Parent ]
A Haiku (3.28 / 14) (#26)
by JChen on Sun Feb 09, 2003 at 04:57:23 PM EST

the brown man looked up

to see a blazing sun and

gifts from Mister Bush

Let us do as we say.

and another (4.57 / 7) (#27)
by kpaul on Sun Feb 09, 2003 at 04:59:15 PM EST

smart bombs fall from sky uneducated children wonder how and why
2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]
My favorite. (none / 0) (#99)
by cdyer on Mon Feb 10, 2003 at 10:16:51 PM EST

Five seven and five
The syllables in haiku
But I say, "Fuck tradition!"

--Ben Kasulke (No, you haven't heard of him, but it would be wrong not to give credit where credit is due...

Cheers,
Cliff



[ Parent ]
Why weren't there poets complaining (3.25 / 8) (#37)
by skim123 on Sun Feb 09, 2003 at 06:56:53 PM EST

When we went into Bosnia? Or Somalia? Or fired cruise missles into bin Laden's training camps in Afghanistan?

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum


Maybe they were (4.40 / 5) (#41)
by kpaul on Sun Feb 09, 2003 at 08:32:10 PM EST

but no one was lsitening...


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]
Do you really not see the difference? (2.33 / 3) (#58)
by mr strange on Mon Feb 10, 2003 at 03:42:31 AM EST



intrigued by your idea that fascism is feminine - livus
[ Parent ]
Enlighten me (none / 0) (#77)
by skim123 on Mon Feb 10, 2003 at 02:16:27 PM EST

Do you really not see the difference?

Please name one atrocity committed in Somalia or Bosnia that warranted our going in that has not happened in Iraq.

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum


[ Parent ]
Haiku (2.14 / 7) (#46)
by Godel on Sun Feb 09, 2003 at 09:43:21 PM EST

Anti-war poets.
U.S. their object of ire.
Mad we aren't commies.

Correction (3.50 / 2) (#51)
by gbd on Sun Feb 09, 2003 at 11:18:22 PM EST

You are about 50 years too late. "Commies", as a slur, mostly went out of style decades ago. The new right-wing catchall term used to describe "those who do not march blindly in lockstep with the government" is "terrorist."

(Yes, I realize that this wrecks your haiku.)

--
Gunter glieben glauchen globen.
[ Parent ]

Correction (1.75 / 4) (#62)
by Bartab on Mon Feb 10, 2003 at 06:14:29 AM EST

"those who march blindly in lockstep with the government when a liberal is in office and blindly against the government when a conservative is in office" is "liberal"
"those who do not march blindly in lockstep ever" is "conservative"

--
It is wrong to judge people on the basis of skin color or gender; therefore affirmative action shall be implemented: universities and employers should give preference to people based on skin color and gender.
[ Parent ]

What in the holy hell .. (5.00 / 2) (#68)
by gbd on Mon Feb 10, 2003 at 10:56:31 AM EST

.. are you talking about?

First of all, there hasn't been a liberal in office since Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Oh, wait -- I'm forgetting my right-wing newspeak. You mean "Democrat." I suppose you're suggesting that liberals such as myself and many other readers of Kuro5hin were blindly supportive of everything that was signed by President Clinton, such as the Communications Decency Act, the DCMA, the DOMA, etc. Oops! It seems this isn't the case; how embarassing for you. I suppose that you're suggesting that liberals such as myself and many other readers of Kuro5hin were solidly behind the President and his use of the military in Operations Desert Fox, Allied Force, Joint Guard, etc. Whoops! You're wrong there, too.

The bottom line is that the world is not as black and white as you would like to believe. You are allowed to have thoughts other than those given to you by Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. And the fact of the matter is that there has been a strong, concerted effort by this administration to portray those who are opposed to an invasion of Iraq as unpatriotic, un-American, and sympathetic to terrorists (despite the fact that the connection between Iraq's government and Islamic terrorism is tenuous at best.) If the American right wing's love affair with President Bush's proposed war with Iraq isn't an example of "marching blindly in lockstep", then I must confess that I don't know what would make a good example.

--
Gunter glieben glauchen globen.
[ Parent ]

Uhhh no (1.00 / 2) (#161)
by Godel on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 11:14:07 PM EST

The topic at hand is war. I don't recall seeing leftists protest the bombing of Serbia, the invasion of Haiti, or the troops in Somalia. Thus they are partisan hypocrites.

It should also be noted that Vietnam was begun and fought by 2 leftist presidents. It was a republican who ended Vietnam.

[ Parent ]

*shakes head* (4.00 / 1) (#170)
by gbd on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 05:27:40 PM EST

The topic at hand is war. I don't recall seeing leftists protest the bombing of Serbia, the invasion of Haiti, or the troops in Somalia. Thus they are partisan hypocrites.

You've got to be fucking kidding me.

You're not exactly the sharpest tool in the shed, are you?

In June of 1999, former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark (a leftist) led thousands of protesters from groups such as Peace Action and International Action Center in a rally against the bombing of the former Yugoslavia. They marched on Washington, D.C., from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to the Pentagon, much the same as similar groups are now marching against the Bush administration's stance on Iraq.

There are lots of other examples of similar groups protesting the U.S.'s policy towards Haiti and Somalia. For example, Harry Belafonte (no conservative himself) wrote President Clinton a letter saying: "I have watched with disbelief as your Administration has continued the cruel Haitian policy initiated by George Bush. .. I supported your candidacy with great enthusiasm.  I, and many of your supporters, consider your Haitian policy a betrayal of monumental proportions. We .. protest your illegal and inhuman decisions." Read the Google archives of misc.activism.progressive around the time period of March 1993. Can you find any real support for Clinton's Haiti policy? The majority of the support for it came from conservatives, notably the Bush Administration officials that developed the policy in the first place.

However, since you "don't recall seeing" any of this, it obviously didn't happen. What a bulletproof argument you've constructed! Ladies and gentleman, this is the same kind of "logic" that is being employed by the man who is currently sending hundreds of thousands of troops to the Persian Gulf and who has his finger on the buttons controlling the world's largest nuclear (pronounced: "nukular") arsenal. God help us all.

--
Gunter glieben glauchen globen.
[ Parent ]

I voted to dump this story... (4.00 / 13) (#47)
by gr3y on Sun Feb 09, 2003 at 09:53:56 PM EST

and I'll tell you why.

The situation is analagous to Sean Penn taking out a full page ad in the Washington Post, but not identical. Penn explained the ad was: "Every bit as legitimate as it is for anybody in the United States to take whatever opportunity they have to serve the country that served them." That's true. He paid for it with his own money. Anyone with $50,000 can take out an ad in the Washington Post, so in that respect it's egalitarian, and not "unfair" at all (I realize the editors and publisher continue to exercise some control). I do not agree with his point of view, but that is an entirely different matter.

I don't have any sympathy for "poets" who feel they've been denied a public forum, but haven't. They have been denied the opportunity to make a political protest at an event that was not intended for political protests. Any one of them, or all of them together, may take out a full page ad in the Washington Post explaining their views. The price is $50,000.

The idea that they have somehow been marginalized is false on its face, and has every bit as much legitimacy as me claiming that my point of view has been marginalized because George Bush didn't invite me to the White House to ask for my advice regarding Iraq. They have just as much opportunity to speak against war with Iraq as they have ever had, as do I. To expect the White House to extend to them a forum in which to lodge the protest is ludicrous; they already have one through the Constitution.

In my opinion, the cancellation of the symposium doesn't deserve more attention. It has been reported, and that is as it should be. However, there's nothing to see here. The "poets" haven't been denied the opportunity to exercise their rights, they just haven't been invited to do it at the White House - a different matter altogether and a decision with which I agree.

I am a disruptive technology.

It's OK (3.75 / 4) (#50)
by pyramid termite on Sun Feb 09, 2003 at 10:44:03 PM EST

They have been denied the opportunity to make a political protest at an event that was not intended for political protests.

And the government has been denied an opportunity to coopt poets and poetry into politics, when that is not the purpose of poetry.

It's a fair trade.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
What exactly... (3.50 / 4) (#52)
by cr8dle2grave on Mon Feb 10, 2003 at 01:23:39 AM EST

...about the proposed symposium constituted an attempt to "coopt poets and poetry into politics"? What is so objectionable about the government staging an event to honor three great American poets? How would this differ from government funding of Museums? Or theatres? Or Universities where these three poets, among other great American artists, are regularly studied and honored?

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
It's an attempt by the government ... (4.75 / 4) (#63)
by pyramid termite on Mon Feb 10, 2003 at 06:21:12 AM EST

... to throw a bone to poetry, so to speak - "here, poetry, come into the White House and we will honor these 3 poets for you to show that we like you. But please don't say anything we don't like while we're doing so. This way, it will make us look sensitive and artistic towards you and will make poetry look as if it's consistent with the way we live and the decisions we make." The Boy Scouts and even the Democratic Party may be content to be treated that way (although I dare say the Democrats have things to say when they're in the White House), but poets and poetry generally aren't. They have this peculiar notion that words come first.

There are many tales through history of poets who refused to be used this way - not necessarily because they disagreed with a government, but because they think government is irrelevant to the purposes of poetry. That's one failing of some of today's poets, is that they're too politically concerned for the good of their poetry. Another failing is that poetry is far too associated with the University these days.

Poets have often claimed the right to say what they wanted, even before that notion became common in government and society. I see no reason why they should change that for lunch and a few kind words for 3 of their kind at the White House.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
That's not an answer... (1.66 / 3) (#69)
by cr8dle2grave on Mon Feb 10, 2003 at 11:54:13 AM EST

...just a bunch of frantic hand-waving about the independent spirit of poetry. I can appreciate and respect an individual who saw fit, for whatever reason, to turn down an invitation to Mrs. Bush's "tea party", but I don't understand what's so categorically objectionable about her having it in the first place.

Should we demand that the National Theatre be closed down? Or the National Museum of Modern Art? Should we do away with the tradition of recognizing a poet laureate? And funds that subsidize the study of art in universities?

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
What's objectionable (5.00 / 1) (#71)
by linca on Mon Feb 10, 2003 at 12:27:37 PM EST

Government funding into arts should try not to be "politically" discriminating, i.e. impose its views on the funded artists (though doing it absolutely is obviously impossible). And Laura Bush throwing a tea party at the White House is a form of government funding.

Should Bush decide that Picasso's work should be thrown out of a National Museum on the ground that he is a commie?

If artists are to remain "free", they should be able to use a government forum in every way they see fit ; the whim of the Sovereign should not decide what they are to say on government funds. Art is not a form of marketing spending. And art is always political in some way.

Compare with the British poetry laureate that did write an anti-war poem.

[ Parent ]

Re: What's objectionable (none / 0) (#73)
by cr8dle2grave on Mon Feb 10, 2003 at 01:10:04 PM EST

Government funding into arts should try not to be "politically" discriminating, i.e. impose its views on the funded artists (though doing it absolutely is obviously impossible). And Laura Bush throwing a tea party at the White House is a form of government funding.

Agreed.

Should Bush decide that Picasso's work should be thrown out of a National Museum on the ground that he is a commie?

Absolutely not. That is precisely the sort of nonsense I'm objecting to. And likewise, Pound should not be ignored or de-cannonized on the grounds that he was an unapologetic fascist.

And art is always political in some way.

Agreed, although I object, on aesthetic grounds, to overtly political art -- but that's another conversation.

Compare with the British poetry laureate that did write an anti-war poem.

If this were about censuring the poet laureate for the content of a poem, I'd strenuously object, but it's not. The event was staged to commemorate three specific poets, it was not intended to be a "poets speak their mind about current events" sort of affair. And arguing that this is acceptable because poets somehow deserve extraordinary expressive latitude is just so much woolly-headed nonsense.

Canceling this event was no more objectionable than a teacher removing from her class a group of disruptive kids who forgot to take their Ritlan.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Apolitical commemoration? (4.00 / 1) (#76)
by linca on Mon Feb 10, 2003 at 02:08:42 PM EST

Although I did not know beforehand who the to-be-commemorated poets were, it seems at least two of them where hardly apolitical.

Commemoration of an artist does take into account current times. If an artist would have had deeply disagreed with current events, then it is a worthy form of commemoration to recall their thoughts.

I'd have no objection to turn a Ginsberg commemoration into a "no to war on drugs" event. Or a present day Zola commemoration in France into a warning against antisemitism. It'd even be logical.

Showing the contradiction of present-day Leaders with the artists they pretend to hold as great, pay hommage to and claim inspiration from should be normal.

(Now, as to wether this applies to this particular occasion is another problem, my knowledge of these particular poets being limited)

[ Parent ]

There is a proper time and place... (1.00 / 1) (#100)
by cr8dle2grave on Mon Feb 10, 2003 at 10:43:32 PM EST

...for everything, and this event was not the proper place to stage an anti-war protest. It's no more appropriate than if a symposium on Sarte as novelist were to be overrun by a contigency intent on denouncing Stalinist atrocities.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Support that. (none / 0) (#105)
by dikaiopolis on Mon Feb 10, 2003 at 11:16:11 PM EST

Thanks for informing me that there is a time and place for everything, because I hadn't known, but tell me, why, and where do the boundaries to your global statements lie?


gnoske seauton
[ Parent ]

Very bad example (none / 0) (#128)
by linca on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 05:10:59 AM EST

Sartre himself made a job of overrunning symposiums, among his other activities. His main idea for much of his life was that actually expressing one's opinion in one's art was a duty. He was a Stanilist apologist then later denouncing his atrocities.

More specifically, what better time is there to protest war than when you can see the wife of the President? It's the more efficient form of demonstration. You don't annoy the public with demonstrations that block traffic. You actually have got a hope of your arguments being heard. Do I need to remind you of the role of the court's jester in medieval times, who was allowed to criticize the king?

Finally, it seems in these symposiums "societal impact" of poetry was usually discussed. I don't see why war should be excluded of that field of discussion.

[ Parent ]

oh for christ's sake... (none / 0) (#104)
by dikaiopolis on Mon Feb 10, 2003 at 11:13:46 PM EST

cradle, I've been reading your rabble for the last 15 comments, and I still can't figure out what your big point is, then a couple posts back you criticize the tone of someone's post, your appraisal of which I believe was inaccurate, and then emphatically wax indignant about how they didn't specifically respond to your point, when you have been harping on the most inane irrelevant aspects of anything you've tried to criticize yet. Furthermore, all of your arguments have been deliberately obfuscating points, and trying to annul them by dragging them into pointless obscurity. Your argument with Noam above was pointless and overly specific, and involved more name-calling than actual logic from both sides.

What I have to say is this, and of course it's been said. The reason that this canceling of this event is irritating to some of us is that it so obviously indicates that the Bushes are so unaware that they didn't realize that all of the people they were planning on inviting to this thing pretty much hate their guts, for probably pretty good reasons. Also, none of those invited actually /did/ anything objectionable, and were sanctioned way beforehand, having given the Bushess fair warning. The issue at hand is not one of conduct on either side, it is of the indication that the Bush's mistaken assumption that poets are all as rich as they are and can stand to make pleasant distinctions between work and opinion, when in fact, not only is this logically contrary to the goal of being an artist, empirically it is quite untrue, with the ultimate implication that they are quite hauled up in their little world and unwilling to come out (of course, this too is logically irrelevent to most things, but to some of us... I dunno, Artists, it's not so irrelevant).

Also, I am offended by your comparison of this event to a teacher kicking out the annoying kids. Having been one of those annoying kids and having been kicked out of class countless times for utterly rediculous arrays of reasons, mostly involving substanciated foolishness on the part of the teacher who, to tell the truth was underpaid, underskilled, and just trying to do her job. This is no reflection on me, however, since I usually had perfectly good reasons for whatever I was doing that got considered "objectionable". Also, I think the very fact that you could make such a comparison is, to me, evidence of the outrage of the situation, since I personally think that these rapscalion poets have it way more together than the Bushes, and I think it's a little whacky that anyone would think that the Bushes can just invite "poets" to a tea party and have the poets just leave all their baggage about the government at the door and "oh please Mrs. Bush, can we /please/ come drink tea with your imminence?", and that apprently you think those filthy stupid po-ass poets should behave this way, which just grates my dogma.


gnoske seauton
[ Parent ]

Riposte (1.00 / 1) (#113)
by cr8dle2grave on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 12:42:17 AM EST

Furthermore, all of your arguments have been deliberately obfuscating points, and trying to annul them by dragging them into pointless obscurity. Your argument with Noam above was pointless and overly specific, and involved more name-calling than actual logic from both sides.

Thanks for sharing. If you don't like the game Chumpsky and I are playing with one another, you're free to tune in to a different thread. Different strokes and all that.

The reason that this canceling of this event is irritating to some of us is that it so obviously indicates that the Bushes are so unaware that they didn't realize that all of the people they were planning on inviting to this thing pretty much hate their guts, for probably pretty good reasons.

No doubt Mrs. Bush was naive in believing that the rabble could contain themselves and act politely. I've never contested that.

The issue at hand is not one of conduct on either side, it is of the indication that the Bush's mistaken assumption that poets are all as rich as they are and can stand to make pleasant distinctions between work and opinion, when in fact, not only is this logically contrary to the goal of being an artist, empirically it is quite untrue, with the ultimate implication that they are quite hauled up in their little world and unwilling to come out (of course, this too is logically irrelevent to most things, but to some of us... I dunno, Artists, it's not so irrelevant).

What a painfully childish view of art.

Also, I am offended by your comparison of this event to a teacher kicking out the annoying kids.

Not just annoying, but kids on Ritlan. And Ritlan is taken for what? That's right, ADD. Implying what? That the artists in question need to stay on task.

Your interpretive skills need some work, but you did get the tone right. I was affecting a dismissive and condescending attitude (oops, there it goes again).

Having been one of those annoying kids and having been kicked out of class countless times for utterly rediculous arrays of reasons, mostly involving substanciated foolishness on the part of the teacher who, to tell the truth was underpaid, underskilled, and just trying to do her job. This is no reflection on me, however, since I usually had perfectly good reasons for whatever I was doing that got considered "objectionable".

Again, thanks for sharing.

and that apprently you think those filthy stupid po-ass poets should behave this way, which just grates my dogma.

And it tickles my funny bone to watch histrionic lil' artistes bang their precious noggins against the brick wall of futility. So, now that we've both let our dogmas hang out in the wind, what do we do about it?

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Publicly Funded Art (none / 0) (#169)
by wnight on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 02:28:05 PM EST

I think publicly funded art should be politically discriminating, towards a moderate view. I don't want to fund art that I find insulting, nor do I expect others to fund art they find insulting.

While everything will be hated by someone, and we shouldn't stop everything, I think we should try to go for things that are more popular. It is public money after all.

I'd be just as happy if the poetry awards(?) were cancelled, had they been pro-war messages, or pro-religion, or anti-abortion, or pro-abortion. These are personal issues that people can figure out for themselves. I'm all for funding forums where people can discuss these issues, but not for funding the unequal distribution of one group's emotionally based opinions.


[ Parent ]

It's funny more than anything else (none / 0) (#83)
by pyramid termite on Mon Feb 10, 2003 at 06:38:16 PM EST

just a bunch of frantic hand-waving about the independent spirit of poetry.

Frantic? No, more like amused disdain.

but I don't understand what's so categorically objectionable about her having it in the first place.

Not objectionable - just naive.

Should we do away with the tradition of recognizing a poet laureate?

It's kind of silly - Colley Cribber? Lawrence Eusden? How many have read Robert Southey, poet laureate of a time that saw Lord Bryon, Shelley, and Keats? (He was decent but not in their league.) Heh - looking over the lists of American and British recipients, I note that Dryden got fired, Walter Carlos Williams refused to serve, and Wordsworth was 73.

Yeah, governments have impeccable taste in art ...

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
You've got a point there (none / 0) (#85)
by cr8dle2grave on Mon Feb 10, 2003 at 06:59:05 PM EST

Yeah, governments have impeccable taste in art ...

Touche! Although, I must confess, I do like Pinsky's translation of Dante's Inferno.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
But; life is political, every forum is political (none / 0) (#121)
by amarodeeps on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 01:23:42 AM EST

TO A PRESIDENT.

ALL you are doing and saying is to America dangled mirages;
You have not learn'd of Nature -- of the politics of Nature, you have not learn'd the great amplitude, rectitude, impartiality;
You have not seen that only such as they are for These States,
And that what is less than they, must sooner or later lift off from These States.

Walt Whitman



[ Parent ]
I think (2.14 / 7) (#48)
by mami on Sun Feb 09, 2003 at 10:21:09 PM EST

George sez he doesn't want her to participate ...
and she is a sweet southern lady and woman and does what her man sez.

ok, I guess I should apologize for this (none / 0) (#64)
by mami on Mon Feb 10, 2003 at 07:30:18 AM EST

kind of mean spirited comment. I seemed to have suffered yesterday under the "upcoming Iraq war syndrom".

Actually, I had mentioned here several times, that I like Laura Bush quite a bit. Beyond that I am all for "women doing what their men say" ... of course it goes without sayint that I am too for "men doing what their women say". I think George owes her something ...

Anyhow, there are some weirdo poets out there and in this climate, it's dangereous to fuel the emotional draught of people willing to get along with each other, with inciting poetic words.

So, she and George are excused ... this time.

[ Parent ]

A little perspective (4.09 / 11) (#53)
by cr8dle2grave on Mon Feb 10, 2003 at 01:41:38 AM EST

Those who couldn't keep their political opinions about Iraq out of this event are no better than the bible thumpers who, inevitably, would have thrown a fit over the fact that the government was condoning the "homosexual lifestyle" by honoring Walt Whitman.

There's nothing more detrimental to art than a strong political conscience.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


Go on. (4.37 / 8) (#59)
by Noam Chompsky on Mon Feb 10, 2003 at 04:15:25 AM EST

Artists do not create art by attending a formal Whitehouse function (I will be kind and not bring up performance art) so your last sentence is something of a category error or red herring. There is no "art reason" why an artist should not express her thoughts in the Whitehouse, in a museum, or in any other location. The offense to your sense of propriety is not an artistic device designed by the artist; it is a violation of protocol and Whitehouse convention. If an artist has a political thought, then a Whitehouse party is a good place to state it; and if he doesn't have a political thought, he can always drop his pants and stick it in the caviar. Either way, it don't make no difference to his art.

Second, you are suggesting an arbitrary (self-vitiating for its political content) definition of art that would be objectionable if it were not ridiculously easy to refute with a timely, ironic counterfactual: Guernica is conscientiously political.

--
Faster, liberalists, Parent ]

And on (3.66 / 3) (#60)
by cr8dle2grave on Mon Feb 10, 2003 at 04:51:33 AM EST

your last sentence is something of a category error or red herring

Only if you restrict the term 'art' to the object or instance. I intended that the term be understood more broadly, such that it would also include the various ceremonial means by which said objects and instances are cannonized.

If an artist has a political thought, then a Whitehouse party is a good place to state it; and if he doesn't have a political thought, he can always drop his pants and stick it in the caviar.

Duchamp would be so proud.

Guernica is conscientiously political.

Most art is bad, and this is doubly true for the politically motivated variety. Thankfully, there are exceptions.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Well if you're going to speak broadly. (5.00 / 1) (#74)
by Noam Chompsky on Mon Feb 10, 2003 at 01:10:18 PM EST

Award ceremonies, even more so than juried competitions, are intrinsically political, for it stands to reason their legitimacy is funded by some kind of authority. When a nondescript person like Laura Bush is acting outside her competence, to canonize art or censure artists, then I would suggest to you that is only possible in a political context, the same one that might, for example, have the authority to censure the Guernica for Powell's speech.

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Faster, liberalists, Parent ]

I've conceded this point... (5.00 / 1) (#75)
by cr8dle2grave on Mon Feb 10, 2003 at 01:47:37 PM EST

...in other comments and I'll do so again: insofar as participating in this event could be seen as a tacit endorsement of a politics inimical to individual artists, I've no problem with their declining an invitation -- although I'd have far more respect if they had declined on the grounds that the event was an intractably bourgeois affair. What I find silly is all the impotent rage being bandied about because Mrs. Bush put the kaibosh on the little coup d'etat planned by a gang of minor scribblers.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
"Impotent rage." (none / 0) (#80)
by Noam Chompsky on Mon Feb 10, 2003 at 05:44:41 PM EST

Nice rhetorical construction--I can play the vilification game, too: The only manifest impotence here is Laura Bush's decision to cancel the event rather than suffer the little people's little victories--poets who should, according to her Latin, present a unified complicit façade for the sake of God knows what reason but certainly not Art or democratic politics. If this is not a cynical abuse of her office's power and prestige, it certainly establishes the American's First Amendment fetish for the hollow deferential gibberish that it is. What do I mean?

Mrs. Bush put the kaibosh on the little coup d'etat planned by a gang of minor scribblers.

Just that. There was no planned coup d'etat, for none is possible in a United States where political discourse establishing the boundaries of permissible debate would promulgate exquisite art theory in order to discredit people who might disagree with a gang of illiterates staffing the Whitehouse. Thus the poets are, in your words, radical dissenters, unrestrained emotionalists and reflexive contrarians.

So it appears as if there is nothing to distinguish the poets and Bush, you and I, aside from political adjectives and, of course, the fact of Laura's victory and popular support in her decision, assuming popular support still matters and is no longer beside the point in American politics. I have to ask, after the Guernica episode, who expected a different outcome?

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Faster, liberalists, Parent ]

You're getting limp (none / 0) (#82)
by cr8dle2grave on Mon Feb 10, 2003 at 06:17:54 PM EST

If this is not a cynical abuse of her office's power and prestige, it certainly establishes the American's First Amendment fetish for the hollow deferential gibberish that it is.

Don't let the fact that there are maybe, at the outside, 10,000 people in the whole of the US who care to lend an to ear to this revolutionary cadre of scriveners get in the way of your argument for censorious abuse. If they want the spotlight, let them buy their own stage. The precious First demands only that we suffer the existence of their vapid screeds, and not that we provide for them both the pen and parchment.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Buy their own stage? (none / 0) (#86)
by Noam Chompsky on Mon Feb 10, 2003 at 07:16:49 PM EST

Is speech a commodity, too? If only I had the resources of a Karl Rove.

--
Faster, liberalists, Parent ]

Speech is cheap... (none / 0) (#87)
by cr8dle2grave on Mon Feb 10, 2003 at 07:29:14 PM EST

...an audience is precious.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Exactly. (none / 0) (#88)
by Noam Chompsky on Mon Feb 10, 2003 at 07:34:55 PM EST


--
Faster, liberalists, Parent ]

Let me be less obtuse. (none / 0) (#89)
by Noam Chompsky on Mon Feb 10, 2003 at 08:00:08 PM EST

The audience.

In any given audience, at any given time, on any general subject, a received opinion exists. This opinion is accepted uncritically by almost everyone, except, per definition, the artists. When the artist violates The Opinion, we must ask her why; and when the artist arouses our hostility, we must ask ourselves, "Why has our hostility become aroused?"

Answering, "because the message is not traditional", is a perfectly good way to beg the question and plead for my conspiracy in The Opinion, but absence coincidence, it is also the most degraded and thin concept of art (and speech!) imaginable. The question is: who under what context has the mandate to appropriate art from its creation in order to describe regularities that would construct our consent and appreciation?

Now I do not know if the Bush administration considers art suited to public control, but if it is anything like the self or democratically appointed defenders of tradition come before it, then it would answer my questions as follows: We must respect the audience's instinct for conventionality, extinguish feelings of insecurity raised by doubts as to the authority of the beliefs regulating their lives, and protect vested interests bound in those beliefs and practices.

In other words, Bush politics: burn the heretics and vilify their friends.

--
Faster, liberalists, Parent ]

Re: Let me be less obtuse (none / 0) (#101)
by cr8dle2grave on Mon Feb 10, 2003 at 10:49:11 PM EST

In any given audience, at any given time, on any general subject, a received opinion exists. This opinion is accepted uncritically by almost everyone, except, per definition, the artists.

I think you've got an overly romantic view of the arts.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Is that anything like... (none / 0) (#115)
by Noam Chompsky on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 01:06:37 AM EST

I think your opinion is jaundiced by the boot?

--
Faster, liberalists, Parent ]

Same side, different coin [n/t] (none / 0) (#116)
by cr8dle2grave on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 01:08:35 AM EST


---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
I'm all out of cookies. (none / 0) (#118)
by Noam Chompsky on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 01:10:44 AM EST


--
Faster, liberalists, Parent ]

yeah (none / 0) (#103)
by adequate nathan on Mon Feb 10, 2003 at 10:58:12 PM EST

This opinion is accepted uncritically by almost everyone, except, per definition, the artists.

It's the Guardian or the WSWS that the artists accept.

Nathan
"For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
-Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

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[ Parent ]

Sigh! (none / 0) (#112)
by Noam Chompsky on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 12:25:31 AM EST

I don't think anyone reads the WSWS. Be that as it were, the answer to your question would depend on The Opinion, wouldn't it? Solzhenitsyn didn't read leftist theory in order to water down his mind and reduce the possible impact of dissent on his writing. Giordano Bruno wasn't persuaded by Papal demurrals. Le Carré's errors of moral judgment will not be vitiated by Perle's apocalyptic sermons. Etc. I wrote--and I quote--"In any given audience, at any given time, on any general subject, a received opinion exists."

Context is latent in the meaning of "audience" and "The Opinion." No thing makes sense outside of its context.

What do you dispute: The existence of a received opinion, the fact that it is accepted as a matter of course, uncritically and without any special thought to the matter, that its questioning arouses hostility? Is there no pressure for conventionality? Is it not a fact that insecurity is aroused whenever we doubt the beliefs that regulate our lives? Is it not a fact that novel opinion is a threat to vested interests?

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Faster, liberalists, Parent ]

don't try your Jedi mind-tricks here (none / 0) (#130)
by adequate nathan on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 08:46:39 AM EST

Your argument falls to pieces because you have equated these Platonicly Ideal Protesting Artists of yours with the real, exceedingly minor poets who feel that by trashing Laura Bush's party, they're engaging on a bold action for the forces of Good.

There's no evidence to me that the writers in question are any less perpetrators of groupthink than Laura Bush herself, or Cmdr Taco for that matter.

Nathan
"For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
-Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

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[ Parent ]

I think the quality of their work is irrelevant. (none / 0) (#131)
by Noam Chompsky on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 10:18:30 AM EST

They are using their prestige as poets to deliver an unpopular message to the political establishment, which is almost unanimous in its support for war. Laura Bush is using her prestigious station to thwart the message. If Laura Bush succeeds, then the received opinion is sustained for another day. Accusations of groupthink will not turn off CNN's terror alert icon or extenuate its steady stream of alarmist spin; nor will it motivate Americans to supplement their by turns complicit and fawning mass media with news from the Guardian (which is a damn good newspaper by any reasonable person's standards) or the WSWS. Nothing will change. The poets will have been censured, according to script.

The thread has trailed off into cabbalistic obscurities that are beside the point. My original points had nothing to do with art theory except to dispute art theoreticians who would exclude politics from art (itself a political position) and rescue the pristine integrity of Laura Bush's ceremonial function. That is either a risible position or an intensely political one. No art is created in a Whitehouse (!) ceremony commemorating cultural icons Whitman, Dickinson and Hughes. Art is created when poets recite their political conscience, and if that injures Laura Bush's feelings, she can have the secret service escort her to the hospital, I guess, but she cannot revoke their invitations without being charged with hypocrisy.

Finally, we are obviously debating politics. Advice that we should not mix politics and art is too little too late, and it always will be too little too late; because there is no such thing as politics without art or art without politics.

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Faster, liberalists, Parent ]

no art is created at a protest rally, either (none / 0) (#132)
by adequate nathan on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 10:42:40 AM EST

They are using their prestige as poets to deliver an unpopular message to the political establishment but an extremely popular one to their constituencies - the imbecile left with its fixation on Amerikkka.

Full disclosure - I don't support a war. But while there are innumerable reasonable people who share that position, there are also innumerable US-bashing morons whose support I don't want. As a reasoable man, you are of course aware that anti-Israel, anti-US, anti-Imperialist sentiment is de rigeur and thus without genuine political engagement in the universities and among the urban leftist funksters. It is tied up in a neat little package with fear of the rural classes, contempt for manual labour, natty black clothes, and distaste for religious expression.

As a poor farmer's son, Mr Chompsky, I am in an excellent position to see the hypocrisy of much of the anti-war movement and be fucking disgusted by it. I am not so stupid as to see it as anything more than a domestic catfight between the university/public service and business/local politics wings of the upper middle class. Here in Canada, none of these people gives a good god-damn for the lives of innocents either here or abroad; like that dreadful woman in Bleak House, they salve their consciences with orphans in Africa while living in comfort and neglecting those to whom they have real obligations. And then, why, it's on to the next crisis and protest rally, the next issue, and meanwhile the people of the issue of du previous jour are forgotten before the dust has settled.

I am full of respect and admiration for the Médécins sans frontières and similar organizations; they put their money where they mouth is. I am less impressed by the self-indulgent culture-war-fighting latte-sipping leftivists I have to work with every day. So I hope you'll pardon me for spitting on modern poetry's professional mediocrities on principle. Not that I like Laura Bush either.

Nathan
"For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
-Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

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[ Parent ]

Bah, politics. (5.00 / 1) (#138)
by Noam Chompsky on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 11:22:21 AM EST

I think it is perfectly reasonable for two people, you and I, to field opinions without feeling someone has deserted the one true cause, whichever it might be, with incomprehensible opinions that are not properly white or incorrectly black. Principled moral views will lead to contradictions that require better than a simple cult membership to resolve.

I chose to reply to a specific commentator in this article. Now I ask you, what reasons to you have for believing the poets deserve to be vilified as members of a cult that would: "speak with the voice of youth, of radical dissent, of unrestrained emotionalism, and yield only to the counsel of a reflexive contrarianism;" "hijack [!] an event intended to celebrate important historical figures and canceling that event once [Laura Bush cancelled the event] it became obvious that there were those who intended to turn it into a forum for an unrelated political agenda [a loaded question phrased in the form of a indefensible dichotomy, answered by asserting the complete absence of any connection between the Whitehouse and its policy to peremptorily invade Iraq in order to secure it and the world from evil]"; be apoplectic with "impotent rage being bandied about because Mrs. Bush put the kaibosh on the little coup d'etat planned by a gang of minor scribblers?"

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Faster, liberalists, Parent ]

on those grounds, I can agree (none / 0) (#139)
by adequate nathan on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 11:26:50 AM EST

That a particular condemnation of these poetasters is itself crassly partisan.

So long as I don't have to endorse the reprehensible beatnik poseurs themselves in so doing.

Nathan
"For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
-Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
[ Parent ]

Oh come now (5.00 / 1) (#157)
by cr8dle2grave on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 08:01:14 PM EST

a loaded question phrased in the form of a indefensible dichotomy

Which dichotomy? Politics and poetry? I've already conceded that that everything can be said to have a political dimension, but that does not mean that all things are equally political. While I'm sure the likes of Eagleton could tease some political angle out of Ode to a Grecian Urn, you can't in good conscience maintain that the Ode and, say, Letter from the Provinces are equally political. One explicitly addresses obviously political issues, while the other plainly does not.

answered by asserting the complete absence of any connection between the Whitehouse and its policy to peremptorily invade Iraq in order to secure it and the world from evil

I did nothing of the sort. I defended Mrs. Bush's prerogative to cancel her little tea party on the grounds that some of the participants, rather than discussing Whitman, Dickinson, and Hughes, were intent on meditating upon the connection between the White House and Iraq. It's her tea party and therefore she makes the rules.

Perhaps you think she should have been more accomodating? Perhaps, but failing to be so does not constitute an abuse of power as no law or ethical standard obligates her to do so. You wish she believed differently than she does and decry the fact that she, insulated within the refuge of recieved opinion, refuses to listen to those who would castigate her. But why? You've already acknowledged that the poets in question bring little to the table in the form of intelligible dissent. Verse, even good verse, isn't going to overturn "The Opinion."

And for that matter, why should any of us be so eager to have the recieved opinion overturned? What are you, or anyone else, offering in its stead? Yet another would be contender for "The Opinion" of the future? Or do you claim to offer something altogether different? A passage beyond "Opinion" and into... What exactly?

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Cvfmmfs? (none / 0) (#158)
by Noam Chompsky on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 10:23:17 PM EST

There is no question in my mind at least you asked loaded questions in order to answer them with prejudicial language, and you continue to do so by asserting parochial distinctions between art and politics, only this time around you have abandoned the invidious characterization of poets who might act as if the assertions were uninteresting.

I do not accuse Laura Bush of committing legally objectionable crimes against Freedom or The People; I draw attention to the cynical exercise of power by a hypocritical Stepford Wife who would invite poets to an irrelevant compared to Iraq Whitehouse shindig, only to subsequently cancel the affair for fear of... poetry? No, for logic abhors a paradox: poetry is not out of place in a gathering of poets commemorating dead poets; therefore, for politics. But the art angle is irrelevant, which was always the point, because you have conceded the political nature of Laura Bush's functions. Thus, we are left with your politics. Review your comments in this article. If you imagine your political commentary is less strident than your enemy's real or in this case imagined revolutionary ardor, then one or both of us cannot discern intention in the literal and figurative meaning of words.

As for the received opinion, I do not care one iota whether it is correct. Truth is a predicate of knowledge, which is a social memory; if the opinion is correct, it becomes incorrect the second after its promulgation, for history changes everything. When it appears as if I am defending novel ideas, I am really defending the process by which these ideas supplant received opinions and become supplanted in their turn.

Finally, the thread has become somewhat pointless. No one is on trial here! I think your hatchet job on the "poetistas" was an earnest smear against single mothers seeking answers on Iraq, but Hitchens has made a career doing nothing less, and I for one will defend his and other drunken troll's right to make a living in any way they can, short of war.

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Faster, liberalists, Parent ]

first para, last word: s/uninteresting/interesting (none / 0) (#159)
by Noam Chompsky on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 10:25:13 PM EST

Too anal for my own good, not anal enough to be spoiled gay.

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Faster, liberalists, Parent ]

Yeah. (none / 0) (#160)
by Noam Chompsky on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 10:41:33 PM EST

No, the correction was incorrect. You are getting verrry sleepy.

--
Faster, liberalists, Parent ]

"Unanimous support of war"? (none / 0) (#135)
by tkatchev on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 11:01:42 AM EST

Say hello to MiniTruth.

Actually, this war (which hasn't even started yet) is even more unpopular than Vietnam.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

"political establishment" (none / 0) (#140)
by Noam Chompsky on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 11:28:37 AM EST

not necessarily popular support

--
Faster, liberalists, Parent ]

Oh come on. (none / 0) (#124)
by tkatchev on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 03:36:11 AM EST

This is ridiculous -- art is not about "the Message", art is about aesthetics. If I wanted "the Message", I'd go read a newspaper.

The only way art should be judged is along the lines of "this pleases me/this doesn't please me".

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

What is decoration, then? (none / 0) (#126)
by Noam Chompsky on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 04:26:46 AM EST

It would be more accurate to say art is the cultural conventions produced by the performance of a visual language. [1] That performance is a history of interpretation of art objects. Similarly, literature is not grammar. It is the performance of grammar, or the cultural conventions produced by a history of interpretations of text. As for the 'message', well, people will mean things when they communicate. I reject any theory of art that evaluates the message for 'correctness,' meaning, for example, that I do not care about adjectives for pretty picture. The reason is simple: Art theory (and I admit I am ambivalent about all theory) should account for art not prescribe what it should look like.

Is a pretty picture, after the correspondence theory of truth in semantics, the notion that art is beautiful to the extent it imitates nature? This criterion provides (or would provide if perception of the thing were the thing, if could account for art's conceptual, intentional and emotional dimensions, etc.) a simple rational criterion. However, the criterion depends on not only a separation between subject and object, which is problematic and difficult to reconcile with numberless cultural artifacts we call 'art', but between art and nature. Without the latter distinction, everything is natural and thus already maximally beautiful. It is also unclear what counts as nature--is fantasy and sci-fi art nature? Finally, the correspondence theory of beauty fails to account for contemporary art, which is often non-representational.

[1] The set of aesthetic elements such as form, line, shape, space, texture, value, balance, contrast, emphasis, proportion, pattern, rhythm, unity, variety, etc.

--
Faster, liberalists, Parent ]

Why do you hate democracy? (none / 0) (#92)
by Noam Chompsky on Mon Feb 10, 2003 at 08:43:25 PM EST

By vapid screeds you meant poetry; and by a cadre of revolutionary scriveners you meant poets opposed to Bush's invasion of Iraq.

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Faster, liberalists, Parent ]

And why do you hate Jesus? (none / 0) (#102)
by cr8dle2grave on Mon Feb 10, 2003 at 10:49:37 PM EST

Come on, you can do better than that.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Yes, I will have my little joke. (none / 0) (#114)
by Noam Chompsky on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 01:01:54 AM EST

The point remains: No meaningful discourse is possible so long as you caricature political opposition--perfectly reasonable people opposed to Bush's invasion of Iraq--with prejudicial language. I'm a quick understudy: Mrs. Bush is no better than a terrorist, because she too is a coward who detests the exercise of freedom.

--
Faster, liberalists, Parent ]

Perhaps I've misjudged you (none / 0) (#119)
by cr8dle2grave on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 01:15:16 AM EST

You want meaningful discourse? All the while I thought you happy playing your part in our scripted little game.

For the record: I do think there are perfectly reasonable objections to invading Iraq. In fact, as I've mentioned many times here at k5, I remain unconvinced that it is the best course of action. It's just that this angry mob of poetistas aren't among those offering any.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
They're poets, for crying out loud! (none / 0) (#120)
by Noam Chompsky on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 01:22:14 AM EST

I submit to you that if able-bodied young men committed poetry to memory instead of debka.com, there would be too many happy women in this world to raise an army.

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Faster, liberalists, Parent ]

The Jesuits prove you wrong [n/t] (none / 0) (#122)
by cr8dle2grave on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 01:26:09 AM EST


---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Performace "art"? (none / 0) (#65)
by tkatchev on Mon Feb 10, 2003 at 08:51:01 AM EST

For ghod's sake, Noam, please go learn what true art is all about.


   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

Performance "art", (none / 0) (#72)
by Noam Chompsky on Mon Feb 10, 2003 at 12:37:40 PM EST

Whitehouse "peace plans"--the liberalists will have their words.

--
Faster, liberalists, Parent ]

Out, modernist, out! (none / 0) (#137)
by Josh A on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 11:18:39 AM EST

I could ignore your previous post in which you appeal to authority and definition in an effort to further an art world of exclusion... at least there you gave some reasons, and anyone who wanted to take the time to take issue with your opinion had something to rebut.

But this? What the devil is "true" art? And where do you suggest Noam go learn about it? Which authorities would you say are the proper ones? And what of those who contradict them?

---
Thank God for Canada, if only because they annoy the Republicans so much. – Blarney


[ Parent ]
Artists political opinion doesn't mean squat. (1.00 / 1) (#61)
by Bartab on Mon Feb 10, 2003 at 06:09:32 AM EST

Just ask the famous poets, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot, or perhaps the novelist Saddam Hussain.

--
It is wrong to judge people on the basis of skin color or gender; therefore affirmative action shall be implemented: universities and employers should give preference to people based on skin color and gender.

Sigh... (none / 0) (#98)
by dikaiopolis on Mon Feb 10, 2003 at 10:13:46 PM EST

maybe if people listened to the artists, we wouldn't have so many problems.

...or the king Karl Marx, or the dictator H. D. Thoreau, or the general Bob Dylan, or the president Benjamin Franklin, or the Czar Ghandi, or the Anarchist John Cage...

On second thought, why don't you go buy yourself a good humanities textbook. Hitler was a painter.


gnoske seauton
[ Parent ]

My Egotistical Shin (1.00 / 2) (#67)
by travlight on Mon Feb 10, 2003 at 10:24:00 AM EST

We obviously overate ourselfs if we think that Poetry will win..... anything. Literacy is great, it is good for the soul and such. That said, I can not think of any conflict where both sides said, You know... that poem by Jow Blow Snotworth was so great, so idealistic... why dont we just quit our silly war, (death and destruction what not)and live in a perfect entopia based on his writings. Gasp, stop the self indignant flagellation. It is NOT going to happen. Go express yourself someplace else.
Go in peace.... or not, just go
this guy may be a great poet (2.00 / 1) (#70)
by bukvich on Mon Feb 10, 2003 at 12:00:58 PM EST

but as a political activist he doesn't seem to be all that hot to me.

Surely when he started trying to recruit accomplices he thought that perhaps somebody would tattletale on his plans and spoil them? Bah. If he really wanted to make waves he would have kept his mouth shut until his spot to speak came, then he would have read Amiri Baraka's "Somebody Blew Up America". Heck, he probably could have gotten himself arrested.

Amiri is a professional.

Who said he was an activist? (none / 0) (#95)
by dikaiopolis on Mon Feb 10, 2003 at 10:05:39 PM EST

He's just a guy saying his peace. He reacts the way he would react, and for most of us that's not sneaking up on the first lady and then scaring her out of her wits at the last minute, which may be considered immature by some even in this crazy world.
gnoske seauton
[ Parent ]
Is this poetry? (4.42 / 7) (#79)
by tekan on Mon Feb 10, 2003 at 04:36:01 PM EST

Talking to my mother about the prospect of war
makes me want to go to war. Talking to my mother
about the space shuttle makes me want the astronauts deaths
to have been painful, sustained, makes me want pieces
of their charred bodies to have rained down on Texas
in recognizable bits, more than ash, more than the airy
transmogrification their end surely was.

"Letter from the Provinces" by Cassandra Cleghorn

In the piece, Bancroft also talks to poet Li-Young Lee, who points out that, "What's so strange is that Laura Bush doesn't want these poets to use the forum for politics, but her negating them is itself a political act."

I would argue that Mrs. Bush (or any politician) would not want to touch this with content like the above.

Try the whole poem .... (4.80 / 5) (#84)
by pyramid termite on Mon Feb 10, 2003 at 06:56:57 PM EST

Letter from the Provinces
"If you're not with us, you're irrelevant."
              -George W. Bush, Jr.
"What we say goes."
              -George W. Bush, Sr.

Talking to my mother about the prospect of war
makes me want to go to war.  Talking to my mother
about the space shuttle makes me want the astronauts
        deaths
to have been painful, sustained, makes me want pieces
of their charred bodies to have rained down on Texas
in recognizable bits, more than ash, more than the airy
transmogrification their end surely was.  
My mother fears war, listens
with horror to the President's sneer.
For the most part my mother
says things I would say,
things I have said, or thought,
if only fleetingly.  So why when she leaves
am I filled with rage?  
Why do I blaspheme the dead, and those
who are about to die?

Until now we were moving in the slowest motion possible.
There was all the time in the world to reach for the belt,
open the car door, throw yourself out onto the asphalt,
knowing that such a choice involved its own
scrappy risks; scream until your throat
collapsed in upon itself like a paper straw;
pray, perhaps, for an intervention
before we hit the wall
(I can hear the doctor's cry, "I am a poet! I
am. I am. I am a poet, I
reaffirmed, ashamed...");

Must I sit still
after all? Can no one, finally,
bear to hear what another wants, and,
having heard, relent from the version of self
he's bent on being?
Can no one change another's course?
The Jaws of Death
are at the ready.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]

Clue gratis. (1.00 / 2) (#133)
by tkatchev on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 10:59:11 AM EST

Dude, let me tell you a secret: that isn't poetry.

Poetry has two defining characteristics:

a) Rhythm
b) Rhyme.

If it doesn't have either, then it isn't poetry.

(P.S. Actually, rhythm is way more important than rhyme, since rhyme is only a useful tool to ensure your rhythm has a recognizable structure.)

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

on that note (none / 0) (#134)
by adequate nathan on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 11:01:17 AM EST

Ever read anything by Nichita Stanescu?

AUGHLAUGHLAUHGLUAHGLAU

Nathan
"For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
-Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
[ Parent ]

Actually, no I haven't. (none / 0) (#143)
by tkatchev on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 12:32:19 PM EST

But if it doesn't have rhythm or rhyme, it isn't poetry.

Similarly, bubble gum isn't food, even if the best advertising agency and the most honored university brahman says it is.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

uh (none / 0) (#145)
by adequate nathan on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 01:05:11 PM EST

Stanescu does have rhythm or rhyme. I think he's the only Nobel Prize-nominee ever to write successful pop music.

Nathan
"For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
-Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
[ Parent ]

duh (none / 0) (#146)
by adequate nathan on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 01:06:16 PM EST

Rhythm and rhyme, sorry.

link

Nathan
"For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
-Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
[ Parent ]

So? (none / 0) (#149)
by tkatchev on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 01:23:06 PM EST

I applaud his literary efforts, and I am 100% sure that he is very talented.

Unfortunately, what he writes isn't poetry, since poetry must necessarily have either rhythm or rhyme. Simple as that.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

There was an Austrian poet named Jandl... (none / 0) (#152)
by Kuranes on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 04:36:07 PM EST

...who was doing mostly sound poems. Check out this one called Schützengraben (meaning "ditch" at a battle site). It also features a cool "Magritte" picture ;-)
If you read this aloud, you can almost hear the bullets hitting the side of the ditch.

This kind of poetry is called Konkrete Poesie ("concrete poetry") because it uses text as material and thus evades the common rhyme/rhythm scheme. Most of the other examples on the page are also concrete poetry. Take a closer look on the picture of the two tanks. Every line is made of one word of Jesus Christ's Mountain Lecture, with punctation getting extra lines; it makes an interesting contrast to the tanks. I hope you'll find this interesting.


A question in addition: Isn't writing of the text in lines automatically implementing emphasis and/or rhythm into the "poem"? Look at this:

I
applaud
his
literary efforts,

and

I
am
100% sure
that
he
is very talented.


Makes it different, doesn't it?


Gentlemen, Chicolini here may talk like an idiot, and look like an idiot, but don't let that fool you: he really is an idiot.
[ Parent ]
As per your second point... (none / 0) (#163)
by tkatchev on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 02:05:01 AM EST

...I don't think I agree.

Personally, I think language has its own structure independent of punctuation and line breaks.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

There was a sound poet named Jandl (4.00 / 1) (#173)
by pyramid termite on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 07:57:29 PM EST

whose mother flew off the handl
"if you don't stop that noise
and play with your toys
I'm spanking you with my sandl

Sorry, I couldn't help myself.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Handl? Sandl? Hahahaha, that was funny indeed (nt) (none / 0) (#181)
by Kuranes on Fri Feb 14, 2003 at 03:05:06 PM EST




Gentlemen, Chicolini here may talk like an idiot, and look like an idiot, but don't let that fool you: he really is an idiot.
[ Parent ]
you appear to have a reading problem (none / 0) (#153)
by adequate nathan on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 04:44:43 PM EST

Stanescu does have rhythm and rhyme, for the third time :)

Nathan
"For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
-Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
[ Parent ]

Well, OK. (none / 0) (#162)
by tkatchev on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 02:02:52 AM EST

OK then, sorry.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

So David's psalms aren't poetry? (5.00 / 1) (#155)
by pyramid termite on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 06:16:51 PM EST

They have neither regular rhythm or rhyme. In fact rhyme is a fairly late addition to poetics. Homer, Virgil and much other ancient poetry didn't often rhyme.

Moving on, it's problematic as to whether Japanese or Chinese poetry actually have exact schemes of rhythm or rhyme. The haiku, for example, not only doesn't rhyme, but the Western idea that it HAS to be 17 syllables exactly is just that - a Western idea. Often a syllable or two is added or subracted. What is required is that it be 3 lines and express a certain epiphany that the reader can understand.

Moving to modern times, the idea that poetry must be shackled to a regular rhythm or rhyme has been considered outdated for 90 years. Emily Dickenson played fast and loose with rhythm and rhyme, while Walt Whitman chose a long line, similar to poets such as William Blake, David, and Christopher Smart. Ezra Pound had the notion that images, not rhythm, should move the poem along, William Carlos Williams felt that his seemingly free verse was based on a "variable foot" that was based upon the breath of the poet, or the properties of the American language.

Much of the reason for this is that English, unlike Italian or some other languages, is much more difficult to rhyme in - old Norse and English poems were based on alliterative rhythm, not rhyme. Furthermore, the meter structure that people are familiar with, such as iambic pentameter (much of Shakespeare, Milton's Paradise Lost, Wordsworth's sonnets), is derived from the pattern of short and long vowels in Latin and Greek poetry, something that really doesn't exist in English. Realizing that "traditional" poetic practice was an artificial and often awkward constraint on American language, people have left rhythm and rhyme behind, with results that vary.

I copied this poem as I felt that the parent poster was making the poet say something that was meant much more ambiguiously in the poem. It didn't really impress me as good or awful.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Psalms. (1.00 / 1) (#164)
by tkatchev on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 02:11:33 AM EST

Do you realize that they weren't originally written in English? :)) What we have is a translation that probably lost much of the original structure along the way.

Besides, it really doesn't matter what people call "outdated". Some liberalist wackos claim that procreation is "outdated", for example, and that the cool hip way to live is in a test tube with a permanent link to the Internet.

Also, who said anything about classical meter? There is a lot more to poetry than classical meter. Pre-renaissance European poetry, for example.

Finally, what we call Japanese and Chinese "poetry" really isn't, just like the Chinese characters aren't really an "alphabet".

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

Lame (none / 0) (#165)
by pyramid termite on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 05:35:14 AM EST

Do you realize that they weren't originally written in English? :)) What we have is a translation that probably lost much of the original structure along the way.

Yes, I know they weren't written in English. So do the people who wrote the web page I liked to, if you had cared to read it.

Besides, it really doesn't matter what people call "outdated".

Strawman. I didn't use that word or express anything that suggested it.

Finally, what we call Japanese and Chinese "poetry" really isn't

Sheesh. Three strikes, you're out.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
What? (1.00 / 1) (#166)
by tkatchev on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 06:11:57 AM EST

You're saying that the Chinese writing system is an alphabet??

You're dumb.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

Rude, but Right (none / 0) (#167)
by wnight on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 12:56:02 PM EST

While the parent post is rude, I think it's technically correct.

And saying that Chinese/Japanese "poetry" isn't poetry, isn't really incorrect either.

Poetry is an English word, describing western poetry. While we in modern times, will let people get away with anything that's not normal prose, and call it poetry, it isn't by the traditional definition.

Similarly, Haiku isn't poetry. It could be poetic, and some Haiku could be poetry, but for the art-form as a whole... no.

Words have meanings, these meanings don't change just because it's convenient. Sheesh.

[ Parent ]

Bad call (none / 0) (#171)
by tonedevil05 on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 07:44:56 PM EST

Reread both posts.

pyramid termite wrote:

"Finally, what we call Japanese and Chinese "poetry" really isn't

Sheesh. Three strikes, you're out."

Then tkatchev wrote:

"You're saying that the Chinese writing system is an alphabet?? You're dumb. "

pyramid termite didn't say that at all. tkatchev uses something that never happened as his stepping off point to hurl a very juvenile insult. He is rude and trying to stuff words into pyramid termite's post. That makes him wrong technically and otherwise.

[ Parent ]

Oh please. (none / 0) (#175)
by tkatchev on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 04:23:49 AM EST

In my original post I mentioned, as an analogy, that Chinese "poetry" is "poetry" only insofar as the Chinese writing system is an "alphabet".


   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

A quotation (none / 0) (#172)
by pyramid termite on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 07:50:44 PM EST

"In the infancy of society every author is necessarily a poet, because language itself is poetry; and to be a poet is to apprehend the true and beautiful, in a word, the good which exists in the relation, subsisting, first between existence and perception; and secondly between perception and expression."

- Percy Bysshe Shelley, "A Defence of Poetry"

I suggest you and tkatchev read this essay and learn what you're talking about.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
No. (none / 0) (#174)
by tkatchev on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 04:22:14 AM EST

What you quoted is sadly meningless mealy-mouthed talk-about-nothing.

Simply put, the word "poetry" has a very clear and unambiguous technical definition.

Poetry is a verbal art form that has rhythm and/or rhyme.

If it doesn't fit this definition, it isn't poetry. Now, I'm not saying it's worthless -- it might be very beautiful and touching art. But it isn't poetry. Just like what comes out of a camera isn't a "painting".

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

So Shelley knows nothing? (none / 0) (#176)
by pyramid termite on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 05:48:07 AM EST

What you quoted is sadly meningless mealy-mouthed talk-about-nothing.

No, what I quoted was words from one of the great poets of our language. Guess what? When you produce poetry of that calibre then your definition of poetry is something that I might take seriously - there are even a couple of well known poets who agree with you, but I bet you couldn't name them. Your opinion is just that - an opinion and judging from your other comments, it seems to be an ill-informed one.

Poetry is a verbal art form that has rhythm and/or rhyme.

Define rhythm - all words, poetry or not have a certain rhythm, don't they?

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Not really. (none / 0) (#177)
by tkatchev on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 07:59:41 AM EST

Let's not redefine concepts now, OK?

For over 2000 years, the whole "Western world" has agreed that poetry is a verbal form of communication that has rhythm and/or rhyme.

Nothing that a certain "Shelley" says or does can change over 2000 years of our tradition.

(They some sure feel that they can...)

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

Still can't come up with any names ... (none / 0) (#179)
by pyramid termite on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 03:50:22 PM EST

... of 20th century poets who actually would agree with you, can you? You haven't shown me any knowledge or familiarity with poetry or poets, therefore I conclude that your opinion is not informed enough to be considered. See ya.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Poetry, as defined by a Poet, a maker of Poetry... (none / 0) (#178)
by wnight on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 10:40:33 AM EST

Wow, a poet says that poetry doesn't suck. Like, call the media and everything.

I suggest you read about the falacy behind arguments by authority and learn what you're talking about.

While dictionary definitions are a little circular they talk about meter and rhyme, suggestive language and sound. A haiku is simply defined as something with a certain number of syllables per line, while you could cram a western poem into one it isn't a given.

A discussion of what is poetry, using anything modern as an example, is like a discussion of modern art. Things hang in galleries that wouldn't be hung on a fridge door by a proud mother. No matter how much artists protest, nobody else believes that an all-black canvas, or a red square, is art. Check out Ad Reinhardt's "work". Yet many self-proclaimed artists claim that everything is art, so as to let themselves do anything and sell the results.

[ Parent ]

Hmmm (none / 0) (#180)
by pyramid termite on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 04:08:22 PM EST

Wow, a poet says that poetry doesn't suck.

Do you think that Shelley would have been better if he had decided that rhyme and meter did count? Do you think he should have ignored modern trends and followed the path of 19th century poets?

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
tekan is the next O'Reilly (none / 0) (#136)
by Josh A on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 11:08:03 AM EST

I watched Bill O. bait Baraka on his tv show by reading only the most inflammatory bits out of context from some of his oldest poems (we're talking 60s)...

Looks like tekan is just following in the footsteps of one of our "successful" TV personalities.

---
Thank God for Canada, if only because they annoy the Republicans so much. – Blarney


[ Parent ]
Yes? (4.66 / 3) (#94)
by dikaiopolis on Mon Feb 10, 2003 at 10:03:34 PM EST

It's honest. I suppose you've never felt a frustration with the state of the world manefest itself in a desire to destroy and cause pain? I always thought it was a human thing. Sure it's not good for society or the modern world, but that aint no reason not to talk about it. Not only is this a poem, I think it's a good poem, and I agree with the points that it makes.
gnoske seauton
[ Parent ]
Re: Yes? (none / 0) (#156)
by tekan on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 06:30:42 PM EST

Interesting, thanks. :)

[ Parent ]
Ahem, a poem. (4.00 / 4) (#93)
by gnovos on Mon Feb 10, 2003 at 09:19:47 PM EST

I think that I shall never see,
A poem as lovely as...

um...

a joint strike fighter raining unholy vengance on the fidels.  Go USA, woot!

A Haiku: "fuck you fuck you fuck/you fuck you fuck you fuck you/fuck you fuck you snow" - JChen

Bad information. (5.00 / 4) (#117)
by amarodeeps on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 01:10:09 AM EST

I feel like there is a big problem with this article, which is this:

Sam Hamill, founder of Copper Canyon Press, declined his invitation

No, he didn't decline the invitation. He was set to go. That's why he tried collecting a bunch of anti-war poems, he thought it was a good opportunity to speak his mind to a prominent audience.

Now, to speak on the issue itself, let me just say this: whatever anyone says, whether it be artists protesting the politicizing of NEA, or politicians/pundit protesting the politicizing of this poetry event, they are all dead wrong. There is no separating politics and art. One could expand this even to say that everything one does is political.

That being the case, one realizes a new perspective: Mr. Hamill had no choice but to make his case against the war using this forum. To do otherwise would have been ignoring his duty as a human and artist--if it was something that was on his mind, something he wanted to express artistically and wanted to ask others to express artistically, then it would have been a denial of himself and his art to not put it out there, and use the opportunity he was given. I don't see how he could have done it any other way.

Certainly as far as Laura Bush subsequently "postponing indefinitely" the poetry symposium, she had the right I suppose; but I think it shows how little tolerance the current administration has for real art, because real art doesn't fit into little boxes, it isn't separate from what we do, it isn't always pretty, and it certainly is fucking political. Sometimes you might agree with it and sometimes you won't but if you shut it down because you sometimes don't, in the end you aren't going to get the stuff you do agree with either. So what this means is it's healthy to have a tolerance for what you don't agree with, and be able to confront it, be able to challenge it righteously with your own viewpoint in any forum, which is all of life. And fundamentally, what the Bush administration and I guess Laura Bush in particular is showing with this gesture is that they do not tolerate other perspectives than their own, and are incapable of righteously defending their own perspective. And I think that this suggests that not only do the Bushes not agree with a significant group of American citizens about this war, but they don't really tolerate the perspective that group has, and they aren't really willing to answer to that perspective. They feel like they have a right not to. That's problematic, to say the least.



Sorry (none / 0) (#147)
by kpaul on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 01:12:03 PM EST

I was going by info on the AP story. Maybe I should've tried to contact Hamill and get his first person account of the situation?


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]
Here's a good link. (5.00 / 1) (#151)
by amarodeeps on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 01:34:42 PM EST

This is where I think you'll find info straight from the horse's mouth, albeit slanted toward the poet's perspective, which I'm sure some will have a problem with. Oh well.

http://poetry.macworkshops.com/



[ Parent ]
Art is Political (5.00 / 1) (#127)
by opendna on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 05:08:21 AM EST

...and it always is.

I don't mind that Ms. Bush cancelled her poetry symposium. Mind you, I don't think the White House has any business in the arts to begin with. They certainly didn't get to where they are for their sense of asthetics.

It shows a peculiar weakness, though. Who fears poets? Only those who fear speech.

In every society where freedom of speech is restricted we find poets and artists are the vanguard of dissent.



Publicly funded art (none / 0) (#168)
by wnight on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 02:23:30 PM EST

imho, publicly funded art should be fairly mainstream. I'm terribly insulted at the Canadian government for having spent millions on crappy abstract modern art that I could literally have made with a 1980s era paint program.

I don't want to fund pro-war sentiment, but I also don't want to fund reactionary anti-war sentiment.

I feel that most of the anti-war protests are by people who simply see the US as the great white devil and automatically dislike anything they do. There are legitimate reasons to avoid war but I doubt emotionally loaded poetry is going to cover any of them. I certainly don't want to pay for pretentious words, or lousy art, from those who can't form a proper sentence and express their beliefs rationally.

I also prefer art that doesn't tell me how to feel, but puts me in the situation of actually feeling. I'd rather see an image of the Vietnam war and form my own opinion, rather than simply have someone tell me what I should think.

Poetry also isn't a medium of debate. I think that war can be necessary at some times. If the USA actually sticks it out in Afghanistan and doesn't let some new ruler, same as the old ones, turn it into an authoritarian hellhole again, the people will have much better lives than before. Before 9/11, even before the statue destruction, I knew about the Taliban and other identical, though differently named, groups and I'd read what it was like to live in their countries. If I lived there I'd want someone to come and rescue me, so I see many just reasons for that war.

Recently, 100% of all eligible voters turned out and unamimously voted for Saddam. Nobody was sick, or stuck in traffic, nobody declined to vote, nobody disliked him. He's the world's most popular man. Or, perhaps he's a disgusting tyrant who, would have killed anyone who had voted against him, had they actually bothered to count the votes. I can see many reasons for removing him from power, for our own safety, and for that of the people unlucky enough to be born into his regime. The kurds are certainly justified in wanting to be free of him. I believe in letting distant injustice go. Whoever was born in an area deserves to live there, even if their parents kicked your parents off. Thus I don't believe anyone has the right to gas a bunch of people, no matter how undesirable, unless those people all personally committed terrible crimes.

Until someone's art or pretentious poetry adresses these, and other real issues, they can keep it to themselves. Especially if they want me to pay.

Poets Against the War | 181 comments (174 topical, 7 editorial, 0 hidden)
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