Thread: Amanda Gorman
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Unread 01-24-2021, 07:02 AM
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Andrew Mandelbaum Andrew Mandelbaum is offline
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Originally Posted by Mark McDonnell View Post
I watched the videos Martin linked to. I found the one at the women's summit at Forbes magazine quite uncomfortable to watch. I really don't associate (or want to associate) poetry with corporate events where the poet seems to have been contractually obliged to crowbar the name of the corporation into the poem a specified amount of times, which is what seemed to be happening here. The ostensibly feminist nature of the event didn't really redeem it for me. Isn't Forbes the magazine that basically exists to make uncritical lists of the world richest people, like a kind of capitalist soft porn?

What she writes, and this type of writing in general, seems to be in the business of speechifying around a number of already established safe, liberal talking points. It's designed to be inspirational and to tell people what they want to hear but is ultimately comforting rather than thought provoking or challenging. And nobody standing in front of a giant Forbes banner can claim to be challenging any kind of status quo. Yes, it uses "poetic techniques": alliteration, metaphor, chiasmus etc but so do political speeches. It fails as poetry for me in the sense I get that it already knows and is giving its audience exactly what they want to hear.

That doesn't mean it fails as an effective thing. On this occasion it was just right. What the audience wanted to hear, after four years of Trump, was an inspirational, inclusive message of "we can be better than this". Which is true, of course, but also a very low bar. Genuine poetry and party politics don't really mix, but this kind of poetry and party politics mix perfectly.
Yeah, and now that she has taken up so much space, there is no room for all our genuine poetry we have that challenges the status quo. I dunno, Mark. Something about this kind of thread just pisses me off. I get what your saying but we have had so much shit here from morons and thugs plus the half million dead bit. I just think there are times and poets and dynamics when threads like this make sense. This ain't one. My two cents. Nothing personal here.
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