The Horrid Voice of Science!?

Subtle, he wasn’t! This is the title of a poem by the American Vachel Lindsay, one of my daily electronic gifts from the Academy of American Poets. Sometimes, the day’s package of words overwhelms me – again? More tangled texts to unravel? – or just irritates me. Poetry at its best is wonderfully irritating, like the grit in a clam shell. I was glad to greet Mr. Lindsay. (And sometimes it just ticks me off, especially some contemporary stuff, so aggressively obscure that it’s no surprise most people have given up on “serious” poetry. But the words don’t give up on us, and they keep returning: in popular song, in gangsta rap, in comics and graffiti, like twitch grass sprouting between the patio bricks.)

Vachel Lindsay killed himself in 1931, victim of another era’s financial meltdown

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