Paul Elisha

In a recent issue of the ‘American Poetry Review,’ a revered teacher of this commentator wrote of the proclivity of many notable poets for revising their work, after finding imperfections.  These, according to one anthropologist, were mischievously inserted by spirits of Nordic origin, to bedevil the poets into re-examinations.  In recent years, he claimed, there were fewer of these episodes, because poets had stopped believing in the spirits.  A dedicated poet, at heart, this commentator has found several verses among his own published works that might well benefit from such attention; not so much the result of folkloric mischief but changing times and ideas, that compel public attention.  This explains the following revision of several pertinent poems, now set in combined form and revised from (“SWASH” by Paul Elisha):   

Paul Elisha: Conscience

Jan 21, 2014

Recent and continuing circumstances have impelled this commentator to question, what is it about rules and regulations that makes them seem so onerous for those in political leadership, who promulgate them, then to pursue almost any course, not to adhere to them, themselves?  That such a situation should prevail in this bell-weather bastion of self-governance is more mystifying enough to discomfit and discourage those most affected and disconcerted by it.

In an ‘Armistice Day’ address, on November 11th, 1948, its last delivery under that aegis, when it was then re-titled: “Veterans Day,” to include U.S. Armed Forces participants in the Korean conflict, Army General Omar Bradley, reverently known to combatants as ‘The GI’s General, said:  “The world has achieved brilliance without conscience.  Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants.”

Paul Elisha: The Robots Are Coming!

Jan 7, 2014

After viewing an especially well crafted Public TV video-history on the Scottish/American naturalist, John Muir’s role in the preservation of America’s National Parks and the founding of The Sierra Club, this commentator was moved to dig deeper and came across an observation, by biographer Donald Worster, who noted Muir’s belief that his mission was  “…..Saving the American soul from total surrender to materialism.”

Paul Elisha: Pious Fraud

Dec 31, 2013

One of this commentator’s  favorite  pundits was the great progressive pamphleteer, Thomas Paine, whose lack of moderation in rhetoric perhaps did more to incite the American Revolution, than any other literary wordsmith of his time, with his fiery 50 page pamphlet: “Common Sense.” Paine’s answer to his critics was simple and straightforward, “Moderation in temper is always a virtue, but moderation in principle is always a vice,” he wrote.

Paul Elisha: Guns In Society

Dec 17, 2013

One Year has now passed, since the shocking massacre of twenty children and six adults, in the unbelievable shooting at a Newtown, Connecticut school, by a single deranged young person, for no known motive or stimulus and we aren’t any closer to answers, that might explain this most horrible of inhumane acts, but everyone who promised informed or official responses , from our nation’s President, to its most respected and learned minds,  seem unable to compel reactions, to match their expressed horror.

This rumination is being penned on Sunday, December 8th, the day following what became known as “The Day Of Infamy,” as President Franklin Roosevelt described it, on December 7th, 1941, after forces of the empire of Japan had deliberately attacked Pearl Harbor on the island of Oahu, in the Hawaiian Islands, at the  outset of World War II, in the Pacific.  It has since been referred to, for the past 72 years as “Pearl Harbor Day.”

Paul Elisha: Billings Learned Hand

Dec 3, 2013

What a wonderful surprise, to begin this bleak, unpromising December of the year, 2013 and learn, that one’s most admired jurist was a native of New York’s Capitol City; born and raised an Albanian, who began his education there (at Albany Academy); even entered the practice of Law, there, such was this commentator’s happy discovery, about Billings Learned Hand.  How heartening, to discover that this nationally admired jurist and legal word-smith shaped the beliefs and thinking of the most important Americans of his time, including several Presidents and Nobel Prize winning economists.

Paul Elisha: Thanksgiving

Nov 26, 2013

As this year’s momentous Thanksgiving Day approaches, adorned with marketing grossness and all-out efforts at political pay-off, pay-back and pontification, this commentator’s conscience is belabored by the habitual harking back to less volatile times, when we were regaled with more memorable tales of Native-American generosity, that made the First Thanksgiving not only possible but seemingly more worthy of our remembrance.  Tragic but true, the selfless generosity shown by Native-American tribes to far too many of those who came here seeking ownership, instead of apportionment, was eventually repaid with rapacious plunder and greed.  Former Poet-Laureate, William Jay Smith (of partial Native-American extraction, himself) has immortalized the inhumane treatment of  American –Indian tribes in his now historic poem: “The Cherokee Lottery,” hailed as one of the “great works” of American literature.

Paul Elisha: A Thumb In The Eye

Nov 19, 2013

Scientists tell us that the thumb is the most significant anatomical item in the history of human development… but this commentator takes issue.  Lacking the capacity for analysis and interpretation, humans would have inherited a useless anatomical advantage.