Monday, October 02, 2006

The Poetry of the Proletariat

Some random thoughts on this or that:
The single greatest literary form of the twentieth century was the letter to the editor.
John Updike said the greatest thing about democracy was the blue mailbox on the corner. Was he right? Yes, but perhaps in a sense that he did not intend back in the smart sophisticated days of Harvard and The New Yorker.
One thing he may not have had in mind is the letters column of your big city tabloids, like the New York Daily News, but these and the earnest provincial broadsides of the Midwest are good sources of your real poetry of the proleteriat.
Better than most poems at your typical poetry reading is a collage of sentences lifted from tabloid Letters to the Editor. I especially like sentences that have the word "should" in them. Take that, W. H.
I see there's a new big blog devoted to the form, a different L to the E each day. Letters to the Editor. It's a good idea, even if it wasn't mine. I believe it may have been Charles Simic's idea. Or maybe it was an idea that Noah had when reading Charles Simic's poetry. In any case, here's to you, Noah, I say, lifting my glass of beer the way the black umpire in the beer commercial drinks to the health of the southern redneck manager he had to eject from the afternoon game.


Blogger Noah B. said...

Molly, I think I'm in love.

12:39 PM  

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