A mismatch made in democracy heaven.
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with delight at the persecution of the bourgeoisie, and of the bourgeois mentality. It is a rich reward for the degradation he felt when he had to be part of the middle class, and when there seemed to be no way out of the cycle of birth and death…Yet he is warm-hearted and good; he is a friend of mankind. Not mankind as it is, but as it should be.
While the poet later suffers because he realizes that this new order imposes painful aesthetic constraints, “the recompense for all pain is the certainty that one belongs to the new and conquering world, even though it is not nearly so comfortable and joyous a world as its propaganda would have one think.”
Some American poets may nourish exactly this hope, but I doubt most harbor such catastrophic dreams of the end of the current economic order. The fact is capitalism coupled with democracy, despite all the problems and potential pitfalls, offers the poet a greater opportunity to practice his craft to connect with his audience than most political systems of the past, and most poets recognize this. But in order for this connection to happen, poets must write for their audience rather than merely against them, connecting in love, not self-serving egotism.
John Burnside, this year’s winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize, which was announced last month, reminds us of the importance of a poetry that engages the world (and its readers):
[P]oetry is important because it makes us think, it opens us up to wonder and the sometimes astonishing possibilities of language. It is, in its subtle yet powerful way, a discipline for reengaging with a world we take too much for granted.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?