Monday, June 30, 2014

Poetic Justice?


   Billy Collins was poet laureate of the United States from 2001 through 2003.  He wrote the beautiful and eloquent "The Names" to honor those who lost their lives on 9/11.  He's written hundreds of poems and is considered the most popular poet in the United States.

However, poetry doesn't generate much wealth these days.  So the poetry world was shocked when Collins received a $200,000 dollar advance for his next three books of poetry.  I think that's pretty sad.  Poetry enriches our soul and makes us better people.

By contrast, Hillary Clinton was given a $14 million dollar advance for her 200 page book of political pablum.  Far worse, she pulls in as much as $300,000 dollars to orally attack Republicans in an hour long speech.  Husband Bill raked in $104 million in eight years doing the same thing....

Yet people were shocked that a Poet Laureate of the United States was paid $200,000 in advance for his next three books.  How sad is that?  Read the following poems and see if they are not worth a bit more than a Hillary or Bill political speech:                      

The Road Not Taken

by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861)
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, --- I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! --- and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Pricey?  Or Priceless?  You decide.


  1. Yep, says everything about our value system.

  2. Glad to hear from you, Jerry...was worried that you were ill.

  3. I'm ok, just super busy! thanks, buddy!

  4. Good for you, know all that stuff about idle hands and stuff...:)