Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Our Perishing Republic

The news being dominated by Penn St. and Aurora, I’ve been thinking how common the course of cruelty and violence is in America these days, though much of it flows unreported, in families, schools, and the workplace. Sandusky and the Aurora gunman both sought out innocent victims and imposed unspeakable but all too common abuse upon them. Meantime, men in authority dither or connive: Coach Paterno stands accused of having sacrificed Jerry’s victims on the altar of gridiron self-aggrandizement, while neither Obama nor Romney will even mention guns in their tut-tutting about the Aurora massacre, and we must suppose that the next “national tragedy” will unfold soon enough. The father of a boy killed at Columbine, with the ironic name of Mauser (a major German weapons manufacturer), told Chris Matthews last night that the American people have given up on gun control, because the NRA and its lobbyists have worn them out promoting the idea that the Constitution grants our citizens the unassailable right to own ammo and firearms, even assault rifles with 100-round magazines—“for deer hunting,” says Senator Rob Johnson (R – WI), with a twinkle in his eye. And I think of Jeffers’ “Shine, Perishing Republic”: “While this America settles in the mould of its vulgarity, heavily thickening to empire, / And protest, only a bubble in the molten mass, pops and sighs out, and the mass hardens . . . // But for my children, I would have them keep their distance from the thickening center; corruption / Never has been        compulsory. . . .”

Thursday, July 19, 2012

New Book Review

I have a review of two fine chapbooks up at http://www.whlreview.com/no-7.2/reviews/GeorgeHeld.pdf

Please check it out. The same issue of WHLR has a review of my book AFTER SHAKESPEARE: SELECTED SONNETS, if you'd care to access it.