Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Return of the Poetic

As an Illinoisan, it has been a challenge to find a bright spot in the scandal-ridden politics in our state. Sometimes that flickr...I mean flicker of gold is found somewhere off the beaten path. For instance, when you look past the press conference circus, you can see a renewed interest in poetry.

Back in December our Governor, Rod Blagojevich quoted Rudyard Kipling's "If".

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise

Then, on January 9th, while vowing to resist impeachment, Blagojevich ended that press conference by citing the poem "Ulysses" by Lord Tennyson Alfred:

We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

The resurgence of quoting poetry continued later that day when our deputy governor, Pat Quinn, spiced up his press conference by suggesting a poem for our governor, by Katharine Lee Bates, "America the Beautiful". Quinn quoted the third verse, "who more than self their country loved," and recommended that Blagojevich reflect that.

Since the appreciation for poetry is in the air, I'd like to quote one too, E.E. Cummings, "Your Little Voice."

your little voice
Over the wires came leaping
and i felt suddenly

What's your poetic quote?

- Mary-Lynn

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