Sunday, August 08, 2004

(3 sonnets) The Harvard Boylston Chair Of RHETORIC and ORATORY Ought To Be What It Was Endowed To Be (THEN ...

THEN we wouldn't be in Iraq ... and "American Candidate" would be good) {serious smile}

A/K/A Teach Your Children Well ...
Not To Eat Bullshit


{ACS.025_01} The Harvard Boylston Chair in Rhetoric
{ACS.025_02} and Oratory's now a pigeon hole
{ACS.025_03} for "flighty poets" whose words do not stick
{ACS.025_04} when tossed against "the real."

Can't make the goal ...

{ACS.025_05} ... where its endowment grantor hung the net.
{ACS.025_06} Although I place these words in sonnets' shape,
{ACS.025_07} make no mistake, it's RHETORIC I let
{ACS.025_08} run down this page, not poetry I drape.

{ACS.025_09} At Harvard they no longer understand
{ACS.025_10} the meaning of the word that is the key.
{ACS.025_11} And though I'm sure that's not
what Harvard planned
{ACS.025_12} that surely does explain what came to be.

{ACS.025_13} A land where BULLSHIT forms
all common ground.
{ACS.025_14} "The People" swallow it without a sound.

{ACS.026_01} No wonder Cutler picked the ten he did
{ACS.026_02} without consideration of a skill
{ACS.026_03} his Harvard education from him hid.
{ACS.026_04} How could you climb when you don't see the hill?

{ACS.026_05} Now ev'ry Harvard grad would scream
"He's nuts."
{ACS.026_06} But I've been in "big rooms" a thousand times
{ACS.026_07} and heard well-resuméd fall on their butts.
{ACS.026_08} I'm not complaining Harvard-heads
lack rhymes ...

{ACS.026_09} ... but rather pure incompetence to speak.
{ACS.026_10} Which doesn't much surprise you in a room
{ACS.026_11} filled wall-to-wall with those who can't critique --
{ACS.026_12} who cannot tell a piffle from a boom.

{ACS.026_13} How could they know what good is,
they've not heard
{ACS.026_14} a speaker -- merely readers, word-for-word.

{ACS.027_01} I'd like to think the rich man who endowed
{ACS.027_02} the Harvard Boylston Chair foresaw them steal
{ACS.027_03} the presidency, someday. This land bowed.
{ACS.027_04} "The tyranny of bullshit" our fate seal.

{ACS.027_05} BUT THEN, he said, "We won't let
that day come.
{ACS.027_06} Let's make an institution to remind
{ACS.027_07} the nation of the sticks for Freedom's drum --
{ACS.027_08} the Rhetoric and Oratory kind."

{ACS.027_09} Now Harvard, being Harvard, nearly lost
{ACS.027_10} the money, but then jumped to fill the chair
{ACS.027_11} and asked John Quincy Adams to accost
{ACS.027_12} the students with some lectures to prepare ...

{ACS.027_13} ... America to lead the world by light
{ACS.027_14} of its ideas rather than just fight.

# # #



Incompetent Babies
" is

not an idle taunt.