HAPPY THANKSGIVING, SARAH J. HALE!

Dear Sarah,

As we celebrate Thanksgiving Day 2011 in this tumultuous Occupy Wall Street year, we at Scarriet pause to give thanks to you, who wrote “Mary Had A Little Lamb” in 1830, edited the first national woman’s magazine for 40 years, Godey’s Ladies Book, from 1837 to 1877, raising its circulation from 10,000 readers, when it was founded in 1830, to 150,000 in 1860, and wrote five presidents to get the Thanksgiving holiday established.

You go, girl!

As poetry in the U.S. continues to be dominated by mopey, self-marginalized, modernist, pretentious bores, here’s to 19th century women who popularized poetry and song.  The 20th century equivalent might be Pete Seeger singing, “We Shall Not Be Moved,” or Bob Dylan singing “Masters of War,” if you like, but it’s important to point out here that accessibility is not the issue. Academics, busily re-writing U.S. history so Moore, Bishop, and Dickinson are the only women poets, scorn the accessible, as if this, in itself, were a wrong.  But every poem is accessible, no matter how murky or modernist or experimental—and it only takes a moment for the public to detect pretense, no matter how large the edifice of subsidized academic apology might happen to be. 

You rock, Sarah!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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3 Comments

  1. Scarriet Support said,

    November 24, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    Did she write ba ba black sheep have you any wool/ yes sir yes sir three bags full/ one for the master, one for the maid/ and one for the critical mind in a small brain?

    Or that other no-nonsense, honest, sincere, earnest, intelligent and non-fake piece devoid of pathetic modernist frills, fraudulent furbelow and meaningless form-that-isn’t-a-form fandangle so prevalent in AmPo today, Brady: Ten green bottles hanging on a wall/ ten green bottles hanging on a wall/ and if one green bottle should accidently fall/ there’ll be nine green bottles hanging on the wall?

    You know, the astonishingly original invention of classical wit, to-wit; nine green bottles hanging on a wall/ nine green bottles hanging on a wall/ and if one green bottle should accidently fall/ there’ll be eight green bottles hanging on a wall ? … a fucking amazing poem.

    The sort of stuff we at Scarriet Support take pride in not only publishing as a pedogogic instrument of deep and seriously learned, scholarly poetry all our readers effecting here practical and positive change via the agency of poems, have come to trust us with producing – but holding in our head, heart and intellectual hearth, composing in what smithy where our own lines are fashioned by the timeless hand of God, what it is fate declares?

    What’s truly stunning and brilliantly executed in Ten Green Bottles, is that the content and form – solid muscular mesh through, on, in and of which the poem operates as a wordic memory machine – reflects the message. As the hypnotic mixed-metrical rhythm of the piece gets to work on our deepest imaginative centre, turning the fallow prosaic pasture of quotidian thinking into a sonic sowing ground for the cultivation and creation of a poetically cogent human being blogging for the intelligent few who do recognise greatness in Letters when it apprehends their minds via the conduit through which it comes; the best words in the most authentic order, appear. Not as the crappy drivel of lazier loners with only a hundred years of an unreal tradition to bardically fail with, but as per professors (in the non-academic, fundamental sense – professing it) of the most memorable, pre- & po- modern poetry forms – practice as their planetary performance, postulating positions and occupying them as committed, special, rare, one-offs of which there can be only a few.

    None of the ideological scaffolding and seven thousand page found fluff masquarading as an authentic response to the existential reality of material humanism we practice as one and as the individual originators of the only known poetry definition you can honestly claim to possess as an endangered species of misunderstood solitary companions with no literary freinds but imaginary dead ones who inhabit an inner estate made-up as part of our cry and call for recognition from the AmPo gods in contemporary American culture.

    Not for us. No.

  2. November 25, 2011 at 11:47 pm

    Professor Butley liked nursery rhymes.
    (I could watch that Simon Callow play numerous times.)

  3. thomasbrady said,

    November 26, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    Scarriet Support,

    That Dylan Moran is great, by the way.

    The only difference between ‘Ten Green Bottles Hanging on the Wall’ and ‘The Red Wheel Barrow’ is that one is pretentious shite taught in school and the other is not.

    The only diference between ‘Ten Green Bottles Hanging on the Wall’ and ‘Mary Had A Little Lamb’ is that one appeals to drinking hooligans and the other appeals to the gentler types.

    As a poetry critic, this matters to you—or does not.

    Then we have Shakespeare’s sonnets which are a re-writing of Plato’s “Phaedrus” and they find their significance in philosophy.

    As a poetry critic you might care about that.

    And that’s all there is, really.

    Tom


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