Paul Elisha: Back To Poetic Sanity

Jul 30, 2013

What does the phrase:”National Destiny,” truly mean?  Too often, the impassioned palaver of politicians simply get it wrong.  Here, where the spirit of the self-proclaimed destiny of unified accomplishment became the gargantuan model of every free individual’s dream, we have created ‘Nervana-Run-Amock.’  The result has been the ‘Malling’ of America, with ‘Big-Box’ outlets and Strip-Malls covering every vestige  of green that Nature has grown.  This evolution has been accompanied by the corrosion of a nationwide network of infrastructure, unmatched in any other populous expanse.  This is the burden with which our ‘National Destiny’ of material acquisition has endowed us.  Now our problem is: What to do about it?

In the hills of western Massachusetts, a cadre of word-smiths has steadfastly maintained the standards of sensibility to recapture the luxury of language--- and re-route us to a wealth of ideas.  One of these, is the esteemed sculptor of words, Richard Wilbur, whose poem:  “Love Calls Us To The Things Of This World,” is a prime example.  In the spare and clear-cut poetry, which he began writing during WWII, Wilbur sought to: “…bring the sanity of art to bear on a personal and objective world in disorder.”  Thus, this excerpt from his poem, “Love Calls Us To The Things Of This World-“  (“The soul shrinks from all that it is about to remember;     From the punctual rape of every blessed day, and cries, “Oh let there be nothing on earth but laundry,   Nothing but rosy hands in the rising steam And clear dances done in the sight of Heaven.”)

It’s been said that poets are the ‘Rock-Of-Defense’ for human nature.  The technology that enabled us to leap barriers of time, space and sentence structure has also miniaturized our language and ideas.  Perhaps it’s time to return to poetics and our most eloquent poets, and reintegrate the achievements of our science with greater and yes, poetic ideas.

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