Featured Caravan Poet: Llyn Clague
Hard-Edged and Childlike
The United States themselves are
essentially the greatest poem.
-- Walt Whitman
There is great poetry in America – in its land, in its people.
It is a poetry of great lakes, great plains and the Missouri-Mississippi River basin ;
of light bulbs, spinning jennies, the Model T;
of back country roads, trout streams, blue grass;
of carburetors, combines, and the accurate curves of cloverleafs.
It is a poetry of the narrow genius of McDonald’s and Walmart;
of the twenty-weight lubricity of Muzak, the laugh track, Hallmark;
of the silkiness of the celluloid screen and the punch of the power amp.
It is a poetry of immigrants’ dreams and natives’ nostalgia;
of gated communities and blighted ghettos;
of midnight food runs to the homeless and raw greed in the morning.
It is a poetry of what is, and what might be;
a poetry amused at the follies, amazed at the ordinary;
a poetry sassy, sexy, sometimes silly, sardonic, sumptuous;
a poetry furious at how much better iToys are delivered to its people than insight;
a poetry joyous at the thump of the heart.
America ’s poetry is not romantic mush, muddle-headed, sentimental;
not minute revelations of the self-absorbed;
nor is it academic cactus, prickly with intellect, leafless, blooming in the desert.
America’s poetry is hard-edged and childlike;
it is passion with critical intelligence –
it is a poetry of the spirit.