Friday, June 23, 2006

Problem Solved
The literary blogosphere is abuzz with harsh criticism of our new Poet Laureate, Donald Hall.

Few Poets Laureate can please everyone, but I think it’s possible to please far more people – and to save the exorbitant salaries we pay these uber-poets. 35K / yr would go a long way toward eliminating our national debt.

I will be using my mainly imagined blogging influence to force a restructuring of the office of Poet Laureate.

Instead of a Poet Laureate, we will now have a Dead Poet Laureate – preferably somebody dead enough to be above reproach.

The appointment shall comply with the following provisions:

  • The Dead Poet Laureate shall be appointed for life.

  • The DePo Laureate shall be solely responsible for approval of changes to literary educational policy.

  • Declarations of war shall henceforth require a two-thirds majority vote of congress – and the verbal approval of the Dead Poet Laureate.

  • In the event of a disputed presidential election, the Dead Poet Laureate shall assume the Presidency.

I will probably appoint Robert Frost as the US DePo Laureate, but if someone knows a dead-er American poet, I'm open to ideas.

posted by Carl Bryant @ 4:43 PM   19 comments Literary Shirts

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At 5:56 PM, Blogger Brenda said...




At 9:19 PM, Blogger jayne d'Arcy said...

I nominate... Carl Bryan! Whoops, you're not dead. Sorry :) I think this is a great idea. And I like the abbreviated name - DePo Laureate.



At 9:45 PM, Blogger Radish King said...

Gerard Manley Hopkins!
Gerard Manley Hopkins!

I voted twice because he's not only merely dead, he's really quite sincerely dead.



At 11:35 PM, Blogger Writing Blind said...

Um, I vote for Walt Whitman, although I think if there were some sort of Ultimate Poet Fighting Championship, Frost would seriously kick his ass.



At 12:04 AM, Blogger Rus Bowden said...

What about a woman DePo? We could call her DePoMa.

Wheatley or Plath. Plath, probably. We could make Congress listen to the recording of this whenever they move to war:

I have always been scared of you,
With your Luftwaffe, your gobbledygoo.
And your neat mustache
And your Aryan eye, bright blue.
Panzer-man, panzer-man, O You--



At 12:11 AM, Blogger Les said...

Ezra Pound!!!

If anyone's poetry deserved it, it would be his.....

Oh, and his aspirations to political import would finally be realized!!!

In a situation where the idiocy that comingled with his genius could do no harm!!!!




At 1:28 AM, Blogger SarahJane said...

I'm with Rus. Let's MAKE the lawmakers listen to Plath. Or Bukowski. He's pretty dead. They'd start thinking maybe the country isn't worth defending.



At 3:34 AM, Blogger michi said...

*LOL* a DePoL!

if we could somehow work out the lifespan of a dead poet, then of course we could have several DePoLs, one after the other, perhaps in alphabetical order?




At 11:49 AM, Blogger Carl Bryant said...

Jayne - I'm not dead. I just look that way. I swear.

Rebecca1 - I knew the radishpop guild would endorse Hopkinsland. What a great idea! A formal medical pronouncement of "sincerely dead" should be a legal requirement. If only you folks had examined Elvis...

Rebecca2 - I like Walt Whitman. He makes me think of Mickey Mouse. Do we really want a poet-ruler who speaks in my head in a squeaky falsetto? I don't think so.

Rus - Plath was a great poet, but folks might think she killed herself to become the DePoMa. We can't afford the scandal. Plath is disqualified for being merely dead - not sincerely dead.

Phillis Wheatley would be a superb DePoMa, but I balk at giving her such a title. A former female slave called "Ma?" Scandalous.

Les - Pound might be dead, but I worry he isn't dead enough. Like Elvis. I think I saw Pound greeting folks last week at a super Wal-Mart.

On the other hand... "Thank you - come again" might be a wonderful universal policy. If Israelis and Palestinians each used more smiley stickers, the world would be a better place. It's tough to launch a rocket when it's plastered with smiley stickers.

Sarah - Bukowski is barely cold. Let the poor man rest a little while. Sheesh.

Michi - Order? Efficiency? Your German is showing. This is America we're talking about...

Brenda - I'm glad I married a woman with such excellent discernment.



At 12:09 PM, Blogger michi said...

carl - stop calling me german, at once! err, please? i never was, and never will be. if i were, i'd be happy that they are leading sweden 2-0 in the current soccer match.

but of course, you americans still think that "austria" is a misspelling of "australia". *tsk*





At 12:17 PM, Blogger Carl Bryant said...

Es tut mir leid, Michi.



At 12:35 PM, Blogger LKD said...

Jane Kenyon.

Seems like the most natural choice for dead poet laureate since her husband will be the living poet laureate.

Definitely Jane Kenyon.



At 3:11 PM, Blogger michi said...

carl - okay then. forgiven. *grumble*


and re the DePoL - i think poets who committed suicide (including drinking themselves to death) should not be eligible, nor poets who got killed (might have set it up themselves and hired their own contract killer), nor poets who died in a foreign country (anti-american).




At 3:55 PM, Blogger Writing Blind said...

Once again, your comments have caused me to injure myself from laughing so hard. Squeaky falsetto indeed.



At 4:41 PM, Blogger Datingmonkey said...

Not Pam Ayres.

Thanks for the comment by the way. I have some love for your work, as it goes.




At 6:26 PM, Blogger lorguru said...

Oh my! I have been away from Blogland for a little over a week and lookee what I missed!
Carl, you are a fine poet, but an even great comedian! -lauren



At 12:54 PM, Blogger Carl Bryant said...

Welcome back, Lauren! So I should stick to comedy - eh?

DM - I love your online dating blog. It's hilarious.

Rebecca, I'm naming my next child after you. He's gonna be pissed.

Laurel - after what we saw with Bill and Hillary... do we really want a married couple running the country?



At 2:18 PM, Blogger bgfay said...

Out of spite, perhaps Jane Kenyon should be the first one chosen.

That said, I like the previous two choices for the post (Billy Collins and Ted Kooser) because they invite poetry. Hall has always left me cold if not depressed and suicidal.

Then again, I think I should be US Poet Laureate despite the facts that I've never published, am not especially good, and have no influence in the poetry world or any other world that I'm aware of. I'm also not very good at selling myself. Oh well.



At 4:14 PM, Blogger Carl Bryant said...

bg - you just promoted yourself.

As to becoming the DePo Laureate:

See me when you're dead and we'll talk.



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