Friday, January 23, 2009

More Silliman

The man himself on poetry at the inauguration.

Favorite moments: Silliman cites the close of Joseph Lowry's benediction as an instance of poetry (I agree), and goes on to observe that

[a]t the one inaugural party we attended later in the day – really more of a “Get outa town, George Bush” affair – I found that the suburban progressives of Chester County had not recognized the Johnson quote [early in Lowry's benediction] and were divided on Lowery’s later contribution, depending on whether or not they thought that humor was appropriate for an inauguration. (It was my favorite moment of the whole inauguration, if that tells you anything.)


One of my sons, tho, who has heard quite a bit more poetry than most of my suburban friends, was more interested in Alexander’s stilted delivery which paused. After. Every. Word. He wanted to know if Alexander had had a stroke. I had to explain to him that there is a kind of poetry in which writers do read. Like. That. It’s intended, I added, to underscore the thoughtfulness and urgency of the poem. “Shouldn’t the text do that?” he asked. I didn’t have an answer for that, at least beyond my Cheshire-like grin.

No comments: