I should have included in my comments on satire that one of the most
striking modern poetic satires Iíve read is Mangesh Padgaonkarís ďSalaam,Ē
written in Marathi and available in an English translation by Vinay
Dharwadker in The Oxford Anthology of Modern Indian Poetry (OUP, New Delhi,
1994.) Itís worth looking for. Iíve always wondered in general why
contemporary Inidan poetry isnít better known in the English speaking world.
Much of it is of very high quality and is translated well (some
contemporary Indian poets have even written in English.) The Oxford book is
a good place to start investigating it. Another good source is Poetry From
Bengal (tr. Ron D. K. Banerjee, UNESCO/Forest Books 1989) Ė Bengal has as it
always has had a particularly impressive poetic tradition.
You may have missed the column by Maureen Dowd about Democratic politicians
as poets. This is not a joke. A sample:
I had a talk with a deer today
we met upon the road some way ...
between his frequent snorts
He asked me if I sought his pelt
cause if I did he said he felt
quite out of sorts.
-- John Kerry
As Dowd remarks, the Frostian influence is obvious. Dowd also interviewed
Eugene McCarthy (who is actually a serious poet) on the subject, and quotes
him as saying, "Once the Library of Congress published a book on the
favorite poetry of members of Congress. The most popular poems were 'If'
and St. Francis' 'Prayer for Animals.' One House member contributed a poem
he'd written called 'I Am the Daddy of a Nun.'"
I have heard that Saddam Hussein is (or was, as the case may be) a poetry
lover, though I donít know if he has personally committed any. Supposedly
he did write a novel, which I understand had no problem finding a publisher
-- I doubt in general that his collection of rejection slips was very large.
Anyway you can find the Dowd column at various places on the net, including:
Quote of the week:
And he whose fustianís so sublimely bad,
It is not poetry, but prose run mad.
Jon Corelis [log in to unmask]
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