There be dragons!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Grier Angelou and the tawdriness of modern poetry

I found this fun blog on Maya Angelou's awful poems: the first is, I think, really hers, the other two are parodies. Angelou lends herself to parody but no one does that parody better than David Alan Grier:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=loI8MzGkgtU&feature=related
Having had to read Angelou in college as a serious American poet I can claim that the state of modern American poetry is truly in the dumper! The cheap, tawdry, pandering and fawning and mild, rather disgusting sensuality of Angelou's poetry is laughable. Nor can it compare to the greatness of Melville, or Poe, or Dickinson, or any of the other great poets in the American canon. As one colleague put it, her poems have not stood the test of time but have been rushed into the list of necessary reads for poor dumb college students who can't yet tell a good poem for a bad.

Here is my attempt at a parody:
My M and M minis
Oh you melt in the mouth marvels
Making magic in your glorious multicolored
Shells. Chocolate goodness.
M! The lips moistened in a permanent press
of succulent sensuality. This unit not labeled
for Retail Sale. I. You. My M and M
Both
May contain peanuts.
Questions? Comments?
Ask not for whom the M and M melts
It melts for me.
MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM.
Freedom!

1 comment:

  1. Ha!

    I am unfortunately lacking in poetic knowledge (knowledge of poetics?). They tried teaching it to me at Trinity (I can still recite "Jabberwocky"), but I didn't devote enough time. Alas, the folly of youth! How typical for an eighth grader...

    But Trinity was a helluva lot better than my Freshman creative writing class at the UofM. I still can't believe I aced that one! My poetry sucks!!! I'd dig out some and post it, but you might shoot me (we weren't taught meter or anything formal or important; it was freeform poetry - yep, standards have been lowered).

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