Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 11 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 8/17/10

Plugged Stupid

By       (Page 1 of 3 pages) (View How Many People Read This)   1 comment
Author 4656
Message Linh Dinh
Become a Fan
  (72 fans)

In the preface to Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman wrote, "The Americans of all nations at any time upon the earth have probably the fullest poetic nature. The United States themselves are essentially the greatest poem [...] One sees it must indeed own the riches of the summer and winter, and need never be bankrupt while corn grows from the ground or the orchards drop apples or the bays contain fish or men beget children upon women [...] Of all nations the United States with veins full of poetical stuff most need poets and will doubtless have the greatest and use them the greatest. Their Presidents shall not be their common referee so much as their poets shall."

Boy, was our bard wrong! Though we grow practically nothing but corn now, we are bankrupt, and of all the arts, none is more despised and neglected than poetry, but don't worry, this article is not really about that dessicated corpse, but the climate that has made poetry obsolete, the conditions that are the cause and symptoms of our national nervous breakdown.

Poetry is close reading and attentive listening. It requires silence, reflection, sustained focus and analysis, mental habits that are much atrophied in our culture, and which our young are growing up mostly without. In a society that always hurries, even to nowhere, fast, and values quantity over quality, most this, biggest that, poetry is truly a waste of time. We don't even have the patience to look at each other in the eyes and listen.

I talk to the side of a face, as this face stares at a screen. My voice must often compete with yet another song, replayed for the zillionth time. I shout in fragments, because even three sentences in succession would crash my listener's frayed hard drive, burdened as it is with trillions of greatest hits, sport statistics, Sarah Palin's aphorisms and porn images.

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).


Must Read 1   Well Said 1   Inspiring 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Linh Dinh Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Linh Dinh's Postcards from the End of America has just been published by Seven Stories Press. Tracking our deteriorating socialscape, he maintains a photo blog.

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Deranging America

Striking Russia through Syria

Common Dreaming

Postcard from the End of America: Lancaster County, PA

Cui Bono After Orlando Pulse Club Shooting?

National Nervous Breakdown

To View Comments or Join the Conversation: