Love Song by a Eugenecist

October 9, 2010

I know a man who lives alone

Who cannot hear his empty home.

No friends ascend the concrete stairs

That wouldn’t lead them anywhere.

But once a week he goes outside

And boards train, and takes a ride

Into a town where millions walk,

And do not stop when he doesn’t talk.

Why should we live with life like this,

To normal life a poison cyst?

3 Responses to “Love Song by a Eugenecist”

  1. Dear Internet,

    I actually kind of hate poetry. Most of it is terrible, especially so in English. But I got stuff to be doing, so, I don’t know, I’ll write something better next week, I guess.

    Over and out,

    pak

  2. Jonas said

    That is an interesting poem, actually. I think I’m still processing it.

    I agree that most poetry is terrible, but that’s mainly because so many people think poetry is easy, when it’s really not. And they tend to write about nonsensical topics, which mostly translates to whining. There is a lot of poetry that I dearly love, though (and not just Blake). When it works, it can very powerful.

    Oddly enough, I recently wrote a poem myself, which is a very strange thing for me to do, because I don’t think of myself as a poet at all, and don’t really write poetry.

  3. I wrote that last year after a week or so when I met a. a deaf man who only received a hearing aid just before he met me, and with whom I tried talking, but had such extreme difficulty doing so that we wound up having to write each other messages on a scrap of paper, and b. a guy who told me that he’s not racist but he thinks all (Australian) Aboriginal people should be forcibly sterilised to reduce crime.

    I think to some extent what’s happened in English is that, for whatever reason, poetry has been seen as inaccessible and elitist for so long that any artist who has wanted to reach people (or just make money off of them) has been writing in prose, with the effect that a lot of poetic creativity has been transferred to that form. In the introduction to a recent translation of The Aeneid I read the translator’s opinion that modern English prose was so much better developed, through popular cultural acquaintance and living practice in writing it, that it was more appropriate to translate Roman epic poetry, the equivalent form of the day, as a novel.

    A hundred years ago William Gibson would probably have been a poet, for example, since novels like Nueromancer are so much about the use of futuristic language to evoke the feeling of a rapidly advancing high-tech society. Ditto for Tolkien to a large extent, who I understand was trying to create a modern analogue to The Eddas in Lord of the Rings. The same thing can probably be said for the merging of poetry with pop music.

    In that sense I don’t think poetry is dead, or really awful, it’s just that it’s evolved to be a part of prose-writing and music(and vice versa, 18th Century English novels are prosaic, unreadable goat-bludgeons). When people try to resist this evolution and write anachronistic poetry, it fails because it’s difficult to say anything meaningful or moving when the writer refuses to deal with their culture as it is.

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