Thursday, January 22, 2009

'Splain Poetry For Me

I really just don't get it. On Tuesday I was in and out of the car all day and didn't catch much of the inauguration doings. In fact, rather than catching only snippets of it, I spent the day listening to some excellent bluegrass music (Flatt and Scruggs, Cherryholmes, Roarin' Creek, John Douglas and the West Virginia Travelers et al). Later in the day I heard a reply of the poem that was read during the ceremony. I think that my reaction can be summed up in one word: "Huh?"

I really hope that no one paid for that poem. Am I old fashioned, or a country rube, to think that poems are supposed to rhyme? And where was the poetic rhythm, the old iambic pentameter that I had to learn in grade school? What that poet read sounded like the stream of consciousness that I have while shaving int he morning. "I gotta get an oil change today. Darn, I'm out of new razor blades. Why is it so cold out? Did I remember to close the garage door last night? Where's that styptic pencil?"

I'm wondering if you could poke inside of folks at the podium who listened to it if they'd say "This is supposed to be really good stuff. So, I better act impressed or I'll look like a dullard." I have a feeling that if you plied some of those folks with enough drinks they'd admit to you "As a matter of fact, to be honest, I don't know what the hell it was all about either. The guy next to me said it was incredible so I gotta say it was incredible."

If there is anyone here who could explain just what the hell that poem was all about, please explain it to me. And why didn't it rhyme?

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