By Dave Read, July 29, 2023 – With USC poised to award its highest academic degree to someone* whose research concerns “menstruation in contemporary poetry,” I feel confident in my judgment that USC is ignorant of poetry’s crucial role in the American war of liberation.
If my judgment is wrong, however, and that storied institution does know the value of poetry, then the judgment must be replaced by a prognosis that institutional madness has set in there. Maybe it’s just too hot and sunny in southern California?
Does the fact that the doctoral candidate limits the field of research to contemporary poetry imply that poets such as Emily Dickinson, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Marianne Moore, Elizabeth Bishop, and Sylvia Plath can be overlooked, or does it tell us that bodily functions are being nudged toward the limelight, for the delight and edification of the poetry audience?
Perhaps it will be this newly-minted professor’s mission to isolate a space for the proper consideration of “menstruation in contemporary poetry?” Please, can anyone tell me how to put dibs on the PH.D that equity, diversity, and inclusion would demand be set aside for “priapism in colonial poetry,” to name just one potentially related field?
How did we get to such an anti-intellectual place, where equity is valued over equality, where diversity and inclusion are valued over the traditional color-blindness of the goddess Justice and her sister Lady Liberty? Who says the time has come to forget the Civil Rights struggle’s goal of integration? Word on campus is that we need to embrace the far more sinister segregation that traps us in solitary silos of personal identification?
Two huundred fifty years later, only the poetry of Common Sense and The Declaration of Independence remain. The faulty logic and the historical inaccuracies employed by Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson have long since been deconstructed into a million pieces in every political science classroom in the world. And every time, the Red Coats lose again!
But, it wouldn’t matter even if William Shakespeare and Jonathan Swift had been there to produce rebuttals to America’s foundational literature. Once its poetry had seeped from the rational into the emotional part of their minds, American colonists were crazy enough to think they’d be able to defeat, with farm implements and hunting rifles, the most awful weapon of mass destruction history had ever seen – the British Empire, which otherwise did very good work to laicize much of higher ed!