Category: Culture and Society

Appeal to the Grammarians

The temperature’s rising. Time to think about eating outside and settling in at a sidewalk cafe to watch the world go by. But beware! Dangers lurk everywhere and we need new punctuation to express our outraged reaction to a whole […] 

A Ballad on the Taxes

We pay though the nose for subjecting of foes. Abroad we’re defeated, at home we ‘re cheated. The ideas of April are upon us and that means taxes. Just read this astoundingly relevant piece of tax outrage. It provides some […] 

Epitaph on a Tyrant

Epitaph on a Tyrant by W. H. Auden Perfection, of a kind, was what he was after, And the poetry he invented was easy to understand; He knew human folly like the back of his hand, And was greatly interested […] 

Purgatory

This poem is for anyone who has ever sat through a Shakespeare play and found it too long. Purgatory by Maxine Kumin And suppose the darlings get to Mantua, suppose they cheat the crypt, what next? Begin with him, unshaven. […] 

Subway Rush Hour

Subway Rush Hour by Langston Hughes Mingled breath and smell so close mingled black and white so near no room for fear. Hughes published Subway Rush Hour in 1951 part of “Montage of a Dream Deferred”.  In “My Early Days […] 

Before Disaster

“Fool and scoundrel guide the State.” That’s true enough. In the early 1930’s when this was written speeding traffic on a Californian freeway was still something new and probably pretty scary to many. Just as the rise of fascism was […] 

Poem (I lived in the first century of world wars)

Muriel Rukeyser wrote this in 1968. Read it and tell me it doesn’t feel like she is writing for this moment in history.  How many mornings recently have you been “more or less insane” as the news pours out of […] 

Palindrome

What an intriguing idea: Reversing time to see your younger self moving forward in time as you move backward. What if everything that’s happening here has a reverse reality in an anti-world? Mueller’s poem plays with this idea of opposite […] 

Trouble with Math in a One-Room Country School

Not a very effective way to get children to love school and enjoy math. But looks like it was an excellent method for teaching subversion, resilience and resistance to authority. Good work Miss Moran. Trouble with Math in a One-Room […] 

A Local Train of Thought

There’s a comfort in routines and familiar sounds. Some towns have a noon whistle. If you’ve lived near a school or a factory you’ll know a routine. If you’re close to a children’s playground you can tell the time of day […] 

Wood on the Downs

Wood On The Downs After Paul Nash by Martin Malone   We have been here before. Uffington, Hackpen, Grim’s Ditch, Ogbourne St.George, Wayland’s Smithy, Sparshott Firs, Bishopstone and Barbury; all the trodden way from Overton to Beacon Hill. Each place […] 

Art and Our Times

How will artists and writers portray this Trumpian time of disillusion, delusion and deception in which we now live? All a poet can do today is warn. That is why the true Poets must be truthful. – Wilfred Owen Perhaps […] 

Shirt

March 25th marks the anniversary of the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist fire. In Shirt Robert Pinsky weaves in the Triangle Factory fire as he broods over the purchase of a shirt. He dwells with careful loving attention on the technical terms […] 

Consumed by Hate

Imagine being so consumed with racial hatred that you travel all the way from Maryland specifically on a mission to kill black people. This is what seems to have happened last Monday night when Timothy Caughman suffered a brutal sword attack […] 

About Suffering They Were Never Wrong

About suffering they were never wrong, The old Masters: how well they understood Its human position: how it takes place While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;             […] 

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