Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Doug Anderson: On Politics, Poetry and Love

Truth pronounced begins to petrify.
Except in the case words so woven they keep an inner fire alive that flares at the reader’s breath.
Poetry is yeast inside language.
Imagination is a river. Unparchable.

Because of the current situation in academia, and because of the growing disrespect for the humanities among administrators and students, poetry may find itself thrown out on the street. Ironically, this may be what saves poetry from an elitist extinction. There are dark times ahead, and poetry will find itself there. Poetry found a home in the university because it was favored by the New Criticism (excluding, of course, poets of color etc.). The Beats put it back on the street. Then the avant garde moved into the university. Now the avant garde itself is the institution. And contemporary critical theory shows no love of poetry at all.

I am a late arriver in almost everything. I began publishing in my fifties. I became a photographer in my fifties. I got a PhD in my sixties, then I joined a dying profession. I feel like Rip Van Winkle. A profession that because of its terrible employment statistics has amped up its native toxicities.

Misquotations and attributions: there are websites now where you can find putative quotes from famous people. There are a lot of things Shakespeare, Einstein, and the Buddha didn’t say being attributed to them, and the quotations themselves have been recast into mushier language with bad word substitutions. It is a tribute to our post-literacy that this could happen.

Why is it that when you describe something truthfully, compassionately, merely to grasp it, to articulate it, that others think you’re criticizing them? Re family members who don’t speak to me after the memoir.

Sometimes love just comes out of nowhere. Without even an object. Just blooms because it has to, because to be human is to love. And we do it over and over again, in spite of the failures, because to not do it is to be half alive. I remember reading Victor Frankl where he says that those who survived the concentration camps were often those who were able to keep some kind of love object alive in spite of death everywhere.

I’ve been watching Yvonne Strahovski in the Dexter series and falling fairly in love with a face, but it’s not just pretty. It’s her ability to constantly change, to shimmer with emotion. I’m wondering if I actually met her I’d lose that. Let’s hear it for art.

“The media” is the favorite right wing straw man. They comically accuse them of being liberal. Network news liberal? The networks are mostly propaganda for the same people who are accusing them. Donald Trump’s threat to silence them is absurd. Only Steven Colbert and Rachel Maddow could be accused of being subversive.

We have all had to face the consequences of our actions and to accept that we can’t control these consequences and what we have set in motion will have to play itself out. Most of us grow into this sooner or later. It is painful to learn. Apparently politicians think they can skip this phase.

Copyright 2016 Doug Anderson

One comment on “Doug Anderson: On Politics, Poetry and Love

  1. sharondoubiago
    August 26, 2016

    Love this, Doug Anderson. The loss of respect and honor and expectation of “debate” that might differ from one’s own is almost overwhelming. “Why is it that when you describe something truthfully, compassionately, merely to grasp it, to articulate it, that others think you are criticizing them? Re family who don’t speak to me after the memoir.” Maybe I’m mistaken, but I think this alarming reaction has gotten worse in recent history. (Or perhaps my assumption of the respect for exchanges of opinions and experiences was mistaken. I too wonder this re the loss of my own family after my memoir. Is yours still available? I’d like to read it.  _______________________________________Recent online posts by Vox Populi:https://voxpopulisphere.com/2016/07/05/sharon-doubiago-free-him/;  https://voxpopulisphere.com/2015/05/14/6776/ (Preface to The Visit: “I Am My Brother’s Keeper”); https://voxpopulisphere.com/2015/06/27/sharon-doubiago-mass-execution-of-aboriginal-children-of-the-mohawk-residential-school-brantford-ontario-1943/; https://voxpopulisphere.com/2015/01/16/sharon-doubiago-abu-ghraib-guantanamo-bay/PublicationsHard Country,West End Press (epic poem); The Book of Seeing With One’s Own Eyes, Graywolf Press (stories); El Nino, Lost Roads (stories); Psyche Drives the Coast, Empty Bowl Press (poetry); South America Mi Hija, U of Pittsburgh (booklength poem); The Husband Arcane     The Arcane of O, Gorda Plate Press (booklengthpoem); Body and Soul, Cedar HillPublications (poetry); Love on the Streets,U of Pittsburgh (poetry); My Father’sLove, Vols 1 & 2, Portrait of thePoet as a Child/as a Woman, Wild Ocean, (memoir); The Visit, Wild Ocean Press (booklength poem); I, Poet, Omerta Publications (sequenced poems)

    From: Vox Populi To: sharondoubiago@yahoo.com Sent: Friday, August 26, 2016 2:02 AM Subject: [New post] Doug Anderson: On Politics, Poetry and Love #yiv0057151570 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv0057151570 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv0057151570 a.yiv0057151570primaryactionlink:link, #yiv0057151570 a.yiv0057151570primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv0057151570 a.yiv0057151570primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv0057151570 a.yiv0057151570primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv0057151570 WordPress.com | Vox Populi posted: “Truth pronounced begins to petrify.Except in the case words so woven they keep an inner fire alive that flares at the reader’s breath.Poetry is yeast inside language.Imagination is a river. Unparchable.–Because of the current situation in academi” | |

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This entry was posted on August 26, 2016 by in Opinion Leaders, Poetry, Social Justice and tagged , , .

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