This item is only available as the following downloads:
National Book Award a -,,
Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen;
There ought to be a suffering meter for poetry. But what a joke.
How can you judge the amount of suffering in.a poem?
Poetry is like fighting- "Sir, there was in my heart a kind of
fighting." Hamlet was not averse to killing. But it is more like
shadow-boxing. The poet is a self-knower trying to get out of himself.
I wrote a paper for this occasion but would like to summarize it
Thanks to the judges for the National Book Award. Be@t wishes to my
colleagues who were also nominated, sspelsclly to Muriel Rukeyser, I
reviewed her first book U.S. L in the late thirties. I have always
loved the warmth and depth of her poetry. Everybody knows that to be
nominated i~ tantamount to election.
Now for the summary:
Poetry is a natural energy resource of our country. It has no
energy crisis, possessing a potential that will last as.long as the
country. Its power is equal to that of any country in the world. Poetry
is written in America by thousands of young people today as a natural
expression of their perceptions of life. They invite the future.
I call for a more democratic attitude towards poetry than is found
in the academy. It is hard to square elitism in poetry with democracy.
,nar greatest poet, Whitman, was no elitist but a poet of the people.
Yet the academy, the universities, have mothered and best nurtured
our art in my time.
Let us rejoice that we are free and that nobody will dictate to us
what we shall say or write. While millions do not listen, American
poetry attests to the great idea of democracy and freedom.
Some of our best poets have died for poetry by suicide. Poets
should not die for poetry but should live for it. I deplore the
suicides of these poets.
.peaking of the struggles of life, and against suicide, I woyld like
to clo;e with a fivo-lime poem entitled "How It Is":
Then the oeghty-year old lady with a sparkle,
A Cambridge lady, hearing of the latest
Suicide, said to her friend, turning off
TV for oa, "Well, my deal*, doesn't it seeri
:little like going where you haven't been invited?".
/7/-~;. 7v ^e
^T ^ a-^I .-
xml version 1.0 encoding UTF-8
REPORT xmlns http:www.fcla.edudlsmddaitss xmlns:xsi http:www.w3.org2001XMLSchema-instance xsi:schemaLocation http:www.fcla.edudlsmddaitssdaitssReport.xsd
INGEST IEID E3PW5JBOW_1QQHTG INGEST_TIME 2012-03-08T22:23:03Z PACKAGE AA00003102_00001
AGREEMENT_INFO ACCOUNT UF PROJECT UFDC