Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Poem of the day by Philip Levine

We have a new U.S. poet laureate, Philip Levine (more poems there too). If this poem is anything to go by, he is uniquely attuned to the times. Now, if we could only resurrect Georg Grosz as artist of the times. David Ruccio's blog "occasional links & commentary" are a daily feed reader don't miss for ideas and graphics ~ art, political cartoons, public art, vintage graphics. Poetry may be a first but not, I hope, a last. I'll check the archives. I subscribed because of this being an adjunct blog and that being an advocacy bent. I kept reading because the content stood on its own. Worlds intersect. Now with poetry and letters. Not so odd though when you consider how many poets' day job ~ New Mexico and elsewhere ~ is teaching, and if college, more likely than not, as adjuncts, lecturers or guests. David, FWIW, is an economist but the radical kind unlikely to hired by the average think tank or sent to Florida by the Brothers Koch.

An Abandoned Factory, Detroit
The gates are chained, the barbed-wire fencing stands,
An iron authority against the snow,
And this grey monument to common sense
Resists the weather. Fears of idle hands,
Of protest, men in league, and of the slow
Corrosion of their minds, still charge this fence.
Beyond, through broken windows one can see
Where the great presses paused between their strokes
And thus remain, in air suspended, caught
In the sure margin of eternity.
The cast-iron wheels have stopped; one counts the spokes
Which movement blurred, the struts inertia fought,
And estimates the loss of human power,
Experienced and slow, the loss of years,
The gradual decay of dignity.
Men lived within these foundries, hour by hour;
Nothing they forged outlived the rusted gears
Which might have served to grind their eulogy

Poem of the day

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