Friday, April 30, 2010

Psst ...

... Confessions of a Poet Laureate. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The Republicans, especially, are always worried that someone in the arts is undermining the religious and family values of our country. They suspect poets of being subversives, free-thinkers, sex-fiends, and drug addicts. Their fears are not entirely without foundation. There have not been many American poets, living or dead, you’d want to bring home to meet your grandmother or have speak to your Bible study group.

Charles is a fine poet and a great guy - I spent some time with him after I introduced once at the Library - but he probably doesn't know (I suppose most people don't) that the only poet actually the beneficiary of genuine patronage in U.S. was Edwin Arlington Robinson. A copy of Robinson's poems was given to Theodore Roosevelt by the President's son. He read it and liked it. When he learned that the poet was in straitened circumstances, he got him sinecure in a customs house. Roosevelt was a Republican, of course.

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