July 25th, 2008

Reading Up On New Formalism

I was reading at the library about New Formalism today. It's a contemporary movement in American poetry. They're in favor of Formal Verse Being Okay.

Why is it an American movement? Because Formal Verse always remained Okay in the UK. Probably it was Okay in the whole Commonwealth, for all I know. But in the US there was a stretch of time where it was Free Verse Or Nothing!

(Yes, there were some dinosaur-like exceptions, but they were frowned upon.)

So, why were the English different than us?  I don't know.

For some reason they thought of Formal
as still being perfectly normal,
rather than treason to the cause
of flouting outmoded laws.

Audacity of Hopelessness

"We rejected the audacity of hopelessness, and we were right." That was McCain today, talking about the surge. I think that's a pretty good line.

Part of the trouble in running against Obama is that a lot of his proposals are on the vague side, and he doesn't have much legislative record to pick apart. But he came out strongly against the surge, and has recently declared that even in hindsight he would oppose it. That's doubling down!

So it's a good point to criticize Obama on, since most people now see the surge as a stunning success.

Obama might be better off admitting he was wrong.
For now he keeps on trying to move the discussion along
to topics that diverge
from the issue of the surge.