Alexandra Petri and John Deming Should Probably Get Married Because They Have A Lot In Common Because They Are Both Considerably Misinformed About Poetry
I intentionally missed most of the inauguration of Bruce Springsteen’s boyfriend. Symbols of democracy and freedom make my tummy quite queasy. I prefer the enchantment of The Little Mermaid to the mediocrity of the middle class and the person that they pick to govern them. But a couple of days after The Boss’s “partner” was publicly sworn in, I overheard two princess friends of mine discussing a poetry quarrel that arose from this inauguration. Supposedly a poet named Richard (I’m not sure of his last name, and considering his connection to Obama, he’s certainly not talented enough to Google or even Bing) read. The poem prompted a girl Washington Post blogger, Alexandra Petri, to declare that poetry is probably dead. A poetry boy, John Deming, quickly rendered a rebuttal. After reading both, I’ve come to the conclusion that each has a very un-magical, unsupportable viewpoint on poetry.
To begin, I’d like to declare that being “dead” isn’t deplorable: it’s delightful. Sylvia adored the dead. She covered herself in concentration camp victims. Her skin was “bright as Nazi lampshade.” Was Sylvia disempowered or on the margins of culture? No way, progressive gays! Sylvia was a spitfire. She slashed her daddy and her canonized poet husband. Charles Baudelaire, one of the best boy poets ever, sought the dead too. In “Spleen (ii)” Charles boasts that his skull holds “more corpses than a common grave.” Identification with dead doesn’t disadvantage Charles either. He’s a dandy — someone superlatively superior to humans, a boy who follows his own special set of laws. The dead are special and unique. They’re much more powerful than humans. To call someone or something dead is a term of incredible endearment, and should be embraced.
At first, my Tumblr literary corporation championed Mitt. We believed that he would cut taxes for the most moneyed Americans, thereby making it a breeze for a boy to snag a handsome millionaire so that the handsome millionaire would provide the boy with a weekly allowance that would cover straight-to-DVD Disney sequels, Snickers ice cream, and other such terrific trinkets and trucks. But, suddenly, Mitt started saying that he wouldn’t cut taxes for millionaires. Indeed, Mitt has become a centrist. Even if Mitt’s migration to the middle is merely a lie, it’s still revolting enough for my literary corporation to withdraw its support because compromise is so awfully common (not to mention unexciting).
Now, obviously, Barack Obama could never ever earn the endorsement of my Tumblr literary corporation. Obama’s trademark word is “hope.” Any thoughtful boy (or girl) knows that while there is “hope,” that “hope” cannot be realized on earth because “hope” has to do with heaven, which isn’t on earth. Baudelaire concurs. In the first Fleurs de mal poem, Baudelaire sings fondly about being an angel in heaven. Then, in the final “Spleen” poem in Fleurs de mal (which takes place on earth) hope is conquered by anguish. Yes, being amongst postlapsarian people is tediously tiring. Yet these fallen fartsniffers are the very ones that Obama plans to assist. Obama is the antithesis of Baudelaire. Obama is calm, nice, and pragmatic. Baudelaire is catty, hyperbolic, and pretty (he spent no fewer than two hours preparing his outfit for the day). Baudelaire is a performance. Obama is a person, which is the worst thing that anyone can ever be.
Baudelaire was sort of mean-spirited. I would have liked to have gotten drunk with him, maybe just once though, and then probably I would stay away from him. But damn, the preface to The Flowers of Evil is brilliant. The dude was a first class asshole. Baudelaire would have liked when Brian Johnson sang, “you get into evil, you’re a friend of mine:” READ MORE >