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The Unbearable Smallness of Modernity

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There is an old joke that has been variously ascribed to everyone from Leopold von Ranke to Henry Kissinger to the effect that “campus politics are the most vicious of all because the stakes are so low.” Everywhere I go now it seems that campus-style politics predominate. Sure, we face an existential crisis in the West, but to what end? Our enemies now seem more worthy of our pity than of our contempt. Dr. Faust sold his soul to the Devil for unlimited power and Helen of Troy. Our contemporary enemies have sold their souls for gay marriage and university safe spaces. It all seems so utterly banal, trite, and boring.

The intense naval gazing of the Left, with its obsession with sexual perversity, has had the effect of doing the unthinkable: making sex boring. My own nomination for the Hannah Arendt Banality of Evil Award goes to a young “lady” (i.e., a female-like semi-humanoid) approximately 4’11” tall weighing around 400 pounds that I saw on a video protesting somewhere who was wearing a t-shirt inscribed with the text “I AM NOT A SEX OBJECT.” Well, you got that right, sweetie. And you also win the prize for least self-aware Leftist of 2019. I wonder, is the complete lack of a sense of irony a form of autism or does it constitute a mental condition in its own right?

I mean, is it too much for those of us fighting every day for the preservation of the white race and Western civilization to ask for some worthy enemies? Like Saladin, or even those aliens from Independence Day. I think that part of the reason that the white race is just starting to awaken to the evil of “woke” culture is that it’s hard to take seriously people who want to genocide caucasians just so they can steal Air Jordans with impunity or change their pronouns with the changing of the tides, the seasons, or the phases of the moon. Is that all there is? Say it ain’t so, LaShonda.

It’s not so much that negroes and semites destroy everything they touch, it’s the smallness of their thinking that is truly so troublesome. Indeed, both negroes and their semitic overseers seem only to aspire to the condition demotically known as being “nigger rich.” For Trayvon, it’s shiny rims that spin and sparkle; for Schlomo, it’s shekels that do the same. Forget space exploration, great architecture, Beethoven’s Fifth. Neil Armstrong wasn’t interested in starting a chain of discount stores on the Sea of Tranquility, and Fifty Cent may not be able to read music, but he gets a lot more sweet poontang than Ludwig ever did. Loser goys. White devils.

Take poetry. Ezra Pound viewed his Cantos as nothing less than an attempt to chronicle and restore to wholeness the shattered fragments of Western civilization. The poetic programs of T. S. Eliot, Basil Bunting, and Charles Olson were hardly less ambitious. Pound’s words had so much effect that the American government actually took him seriously and gave him the left-handed compliment of indicting him for treason. It’s laughable even to consider that the government today is worried for one minute about what some trust fund graduate of the Iowa Writers Program has to say about anything. If you’re the FBI agent in charge of monitoring American MFA programs, you can be assured that your career is going nowhere.

Any current issue of Poetry magazine illustrates my point. Now, this is the magazine that brought to the forefront poets such as Pound, Eliot, Bunting, Wallace Stevens, D. H. Lawrence, Dylan Thomas, and pretty much anyone else who made the first quarter of the 20th century one of the greatest periods of poetic creativity. A review of the contents of the November 2019 issue of the magazine, however, reveals not so much a lack of talent but a lack of imagination. If the White race is renowned for its Faustian spirit, the dusky denizens of Africa, Meso-America, the Levant and their baizuo hangers-on are distinguished by artlessness, a poverty of spirit, and diminished souls.

The November issue begins with Sarah Maria Medina’s “América.” That’s right. It’s América, not America. Gotta get that accent acute in there to make sure this isn’t about that bad ol’ racist Anglo America but is actually about the new improved Hispanic América. Which is kinda funny, since the poem seems to be about a young girl being raped and killed by a non-Anglo at the Rio Grande. But of course, it’s actually Trump’s fault, because if the United States had real open borders instead of the current open borders but we don’t actually call it that, young Hispanic girls could cross the border legally without having to use Mexican coyotes.

Next we have “my miracle now” by Anita Jeffries, a self-described “black lesbian poet from the diaspora.” Ooooh, a quadruple threat: black, female, homosexual, and talentless. That’s one more than a hat trick. [NB: Black lesbians generally do not capitalize any words in their titles. That’s to show how oppressed they are. And if you are a black lesbian with a tenured position at an Ivy League school, generally you also lose the capitals in your name. Because if you are black, female, homosexual, making six figures in a job you can never be fired from and have to teach maybe a total of two courses a year, well, that’s just as bad as slavery. Probably worse.] Miss Jeffries’ poem is all about her queerness, inhabiting her queer body, and the millions (perhaps billions) of Dead Black Trans Girls who are killed each and every year. Oh, heck, it’s probably trillions. The poem is quite disjointed, but she does use the word “motherfucker” in the first line, so that means that it is an authentic expression of the black-female-homosexual-talentless experience.

Next under consideration is Kevin Craft’s prose poem “Coalition Partner,” which may be the most disturbing poem of all time. Seriously, if you think 120 Days of Sodom is a tough read, it’s nothing compared to this monstrosity, which is concerned with the poet’s dreams about Angela Merkel. Anyone not under the influence of LSD who dreams about Angela Merkel has a serious problem and is probably a danger to society. Fortunately, Mr. Craft teaches at Everett Community College in Washington state, so any collateral damage he may cause will be minimal.

There’s nothing like a good holiday poem, and the November issue of Poetry does not disappoint. John Spaulding’s “Hidden” is a nostalgic look at holiday seasons past, and is about a family traveling to a “Christian church” [cue three sinister chords ending on a tritone] on a “dark and foggy” Christmas Eve when a fire burns down the barn and his brother and a neighbor fall into a crevice hidden by snow and are lost. Although Mr. Spaulding does not say so explicitly, we can assume that Donald Trump is responsible for the misfortunes that the family endured that Christmas Eve.

The next two poems we will examine are by the black, negro, African-American poet of color of the diaspora Marcus Wicker [NB: The last white person named Marcus was Marcus Aurelius. Marcus Halberstram is only a pseudonym.] These poems are entitled “Reparations Metric Ending in Assisted Schadenfreude” and “Reparations Redefinition: Bond.” [NB: After the revolution, even after negroes are forcibly repatriated to Africa, there should be no negro who is not named Langston Hughes allowed to write poetry.] Compared to Anita Jeffries, Mr. Wicker is a veritable negro Ezra Pound. He not only uses a foreign word in the title of his first poem, he actually begins with a quotation from Ben Shapiro about the impossibility of accurately determining reparations ten generations after the end of slavery. Mr. Wicker seems to have forgotten the first rule of the Semite/Negro hierarchy. Semites are down for the cause, but not when it involves their shekels. The poet does redeem himself at the conclusion of the poem when he tells Mr. Shapiro to strap weights to his ankles and go float in a lake. In the second poem, Mr. Wicker restores his “street cred” by quoting an anti-white line from the poetic oeuvre of Ludacris, that ape-like rapper who is under the misapprehension that “ho” and “area code” actually rhyme. O tempora. O mores.

Martin Espada (who we assume is a Latinx, Chicano, Hispanic, Mestizo, person of color of another diaspora) is not only a poet of limited talent, he is also a critic who occasionally can string together several semi-intelligible sentences in a row. In today’s academic environment that makes him a polymath. Mr. Espada’s prose poem “Floaters” is a high dudgeon response to a post in a Border Patrol Facebook page in which agents refer to corpses floating in the Rio Grande as floaters. Of course, referring to something by a word describing its condition (e.g., floating corpses as floaters) is forbidden, because describing reality in realistic terms is ipso facto racist. Remember, reality is always racist because reality always goes against the approved Leftist narrative. [NB: The opposite of reality is not necessarily non-racist. For example, the opposite of floater is sinker, which could be construed as racist since the insinuation is that persons of color are unable to swim. It’s also important to remember that sinker is a 1940s slang expression for a donut, particularly one that is dunked into a cup of coffee. Donuts are inherently white and therefore inherently racist.]

Mr. Espada is also responsible for the critical essay “Filthy Presidentiad: Walt Whitman in the Age of Trump.” Mr. Espada believes that if we substitute the definition of Americanism as posited by Whitman we will avoid the horrible consequences of the brutally oppressive nationalistic fascistic Americanism of Donald Trump, you know, the fascistic Trump who has not built the border wall, whose immigration policies have allowed illegal immigration to skyrocket, and who is deporting illegals at one fourth the rate as that of the Obama administration. Tom Sleigh, an ostensibly white writer whose bio reassures us that he has spent a summer in Nigeria, contradicts Mr. Espada’s position and reminds us in his companion piece “One Way of Caring” that Whitman was just as bad as Trump.

So there you go. Poetry magazine November 2019, Volume 215, Number 2. Diverse, banal, poorly written, illogically reasoned, offputting, lacking aesthetic standards, solipsistic, small gruel for small minds. In sum, absolutely representative of the current year.

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16 Comments

  1. Europa Invictus
    Posted January 2, 2020 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    I think the correct term is “navel-gazing”. Fantastic essay.

  2. Alexandra O
    Posted December 14, 2019 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    One of the most entertaining and funniest posts here ever, and your critique of each poem is a delight. My two favorites, which had me laughing out loud: “Anyone not under the influence of LDS who dreams of Angeles Merkel has a serious problem and is probably a danger to society”.

    And! — the riff on ‘floaters’ — “The opposite of floaters is sinkers”, which had me in hysterics with tears streaming!

    Thank you, and I now assign you the task of writing an entire book on the ‘rhetoric of the left’. They so badly need to be taken on by a brilliant critic using humor to defuse their self-righteous. bombastic world views.

  3. nineofclubs
    Posted December 14, 2019 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    In the Days when the World was Wide

    Henry Lawson

    Dec. — 1894

    THE WORLD is narrow and ways are short, and our lives are dull and slow,
    For little is new where the crowds resort, and less where the wanderers go;
    Greater, or smaller, the same old things we see by the dull road-side —
    And tired of all is the spirit that sings of the days when the world was wide.
    When the North was hale in the march of Time, and the South and the West were new,
    And the gorgeous East was a pantomime, as it seemed in our boyhood’s view;
    When Spain was first on the waves of change, and proud in the ranks of pride,
    And all was wonderful, new and strange in the days when the world was wide.

    Then a man could fight if his heart were bold, and win if his faith were true —
    Were it love, or honour, or power, or gold, or all that our hearts pursue;
    Could live to the world for the family name, or die for the family pride,
    Could fly from sorrow, and wrong, and shame in the days when the world was wide.

    They sailed away in the ships that sailed ere science controlled the main,
    When the strong, brave heart of a man prevailed as ’twill never prevail again;
    They knew not whither, nor much they cared — let Fate or the winds decide —
    The worst of the Great Unknown they dared in the days when the world was wide.

    They raised new stars on the silent sea that filled their hearts with awe;
    They came to many a strange countree and marvellous sights they saw.
    The villagers gaped at the tales they told, and old eyes glistened with pride —
    When barbarous cities were paved with gold in the days when the world was wide.

    ’Twas honest metal and honest wood, in the days of the Outward Bound,
    When men were gallant and ships were good — roaming the wide world round.
    The gods could envy a leader then when ‘Follow me, lads!’ he cried —
    They faced each other and fought like men in the days when the world was wide.

    They tried to live as a freeman should — they were happier men than we,
    In the glorious days of wine and blood, when Liberty crossed the sea;
    ’Twas a comrade true or a foeman then, and a trusty sword well tried —
    They faced each other and fought like men in the days when the world was wide.

    The good ship bound for the Southern seas when the beacon was Ballarat,
    With a ‘Ship ahoy!’ on the freshening breeze, ‘Where bound?’ and ‘What ship’s that?’ —
    The emigrant train to New Mexico — the rush to the Lachlan Side —
    Ah! faint is the echo of Westward Ho! from the days when the world was wide.

    South, East, and West in advance of Time — and, ay! in advance of Thought
    Those brave men rose to a height sublime — and is it for this they fought?
    And is it for this damned life we praise the god-like spirit that died
    At Eureka Stockade in the Roaring Days with the days when the world was wide?

    We fight like women, and feel as much; the thoughts of our hearts we guard;
    Where scarcely the scorn of a god could touch, the sneer of a sneak hits hard;
    The treacherous tongue and cowardly pen, the weapons of curs, decide —
    They faced each other and fought like men in the days when the world was wide.

    Think of it all — of the life that is! Study your friends and foes!
    Study the past! And answer this: ‘Are these times better than those?’
    The life-long quarrel, the paltry spite, the sting of your poisoned pride!
    No matter who fell it were better to fight as they did when the world was wide.

    Boast as you will of your mateship now — crippled and mean and sly —
    The lines of suspicion on friendship’s brow were traced since the days gone by.
    There was room in the long, free lines of the van to fight for it side by side —
    There was beating-room for the heart of a man in the days when the world was wide.

    . . . . .

    With its dull, brown days of a-shilling-an-hour the dreary year drags round:
    Is this the result of Old England’s power? — the bourne of the Outward Bound?
    Is this the sequel of Westward Ho! — of the days of Whate’er Betide?
    The heart of the rebel makes answer ‘No! We’ll fight till the world grows wide!’

    The world shall yet be a wider world — for the tokens are manifest;
    East and North shall the wrongs be hurled that followed us South and West.
    The march of Freedom is North by the Dawn! Follow, whate’er betide!
    Sons of the Exiles, march! March on! March till the world grows wide!

    .

  4. AE
    Posted December 13, 2019 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    The Poetry Foundation has been a disaster for a while. A white man hasn’t won the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, which comes with $100,000 and is one of the most prestigious poetry prizes in the country, for seven or eight years. The Academy of American Poets is nearly as bad.

  5. Muhammad Aryan
    Posted December 12, 2019 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    Your opponent’s greatness and valour also enhance your reputation no matter what is the ultimate result.

    Not that I consider the West as my enemy, but without a formidable nationalistic vanguard, we can have sections of this West for lunch. However, what would we ever gain by trouncing these sexually abnormal soft purple demons? We would only be abasing ourselves in our eyes and elevating them to a higher plain.

    O Richard the Lionheart, where art thou !

  6. Lord Shang
    Posted December 12, 2019 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    Does Poetry Mag accept letters to the editor? Try submitting your whole post as one; see what happens.

    BTW, your initial observation on our modern banality and the smallness of our enemies is excellent and deserving of much greater analysis – and without any snark, either. Perhaps that could be your next post. One idea: if our enemies are pathetic, perhaps we are, too.

  7. ValhallaX
    Posted December 12, 2019 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    Good God, brilliant.

    I do not have the words. The power of words. I laughed and laughed. Give this guy money and prizes…

    Simply, brilliant.

  8. Archie Bunker
    Posted December 12, 2019 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    I must disagree with the conclusion that our contemporary (((enemies))) have sold their souls for gay marriage, safe spaces, other banalities per se. These are not the ends but merely the means by which they obtain power over us, and power is their true goal. By forcing us to accept these ostensibly trite perversions as “true” and “good” they hold power over our moral compass and, by extension, power over the way we project ourselves into the future.

    By having you believe what they want you to believe, they have won. It is only by recognizing this fact and then acting to reverse it can we ever have a hope from escaping under their boots.

    • Franklin Ryckaert
      Posted December 12, 2019 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

      “…By forcing us to accept these ostensibly trite perversions as “true” and “good” they hold power over our moral compass and, by extension, power over the way we project ourselves into the future…”

      Exactly, that is their equivalent of forcing to accept the idea that 2 + 2 = 5 in George Orwell’s 1984.

  9. Fenek Solere
    Posted December 12, 2019 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Dear Quintilian,
    What you are describing is the ‘race to the bottom’ in terms of literary and imaginative output. It is like a Sport’s Day where everyone gets to win something (or in this case get their poems published). One group of Afro-Caribbean female poets who recently featured on the One Show on Prime Time UK TV were barely literate ingrates who actually claimed there would be NO CULTURE IN BRITAIN if it wasn’t for them – I suspect they had never heard of Chaucer, Spenser, Shakespeare, Milton, Pope, Donne et al. In the US you have that cretinous Toni Morrison and the like!
    Best
    FS

  10. John Wilkinson
    Posted December 12, 2019 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    So basically, it has become a “Slam” “Poetry” magazine then.
    I. HATE. MODERNITY.

  11. Mad Celt
    Posted December 12, 2019 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Listen to ‘store’ music while you push through the mannerless, inconsiderate swarms of black women two ax handles wide blocking asiles with their behinds. The equivalent of a toddler tapping on the keys of a Mickey Mouse toy piano and shrieking for another bowl of whatever sugar crunch cereal which made him/her hyper in the first place.

  12. Chess Player
    Posted December 12, 2019 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    Paul Lawrence Dunbar is the greatest black poet. And Margaret Walker.

    We wear the mask that grins and lies,
    It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,—
    This debt we pay to human guile;
    With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
    And mouth with myriad subtleties.

    Why should the world be over-wise,
    In counting all our tears and sighs?
    Nay, let them only see us, while
    We wear the mask.

    We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries
    To thee from tortured souls arise.
    We sing, but oh the clay is vile
    Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
    But let the world dream otherwise,
    We wear the mask!

  13. HamburgerToday
    Posted December 12, 2019 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    This gave me a few chuckles. Thanks!

  14. lucinda-othala
    Posted December 12, 2019 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    ‘I wonder, is the complete lack of a sense of irony a form of autism or does it constitute a mental condition in its own right?’

    As a budding autistic mystic of the Right with a sense and appreciation of irony [why else would I out myself as defective?], please put these people in a separate category of retardation. I don’t want the noble-savage dignity of my sub-humanity dirtied by these sub-sub-humans, thanks.

    I’m skipping out on the chance to do a poetry module at my university this year because of this sort of thing; when I do manage to make an attempt at poetry, its images and ideas are informed by both a pride in and acknowledgement of my present and future obligations [as one of archeofuturist leanings] to the spiritual, intellectual and cultural inheritances I have identified myself with and within. In a seminar at my university, my poems will be disregarded, inundated with passive-aggressive ‘feedback’ regarding their ‘problematic’ nature etc, if not outright attacked for both their explicit and implicit content, and I refuse to be inauthentic in my expression for the sake of a module pass.

    Anyway, great article (:

    • A.M.
      Posted December 20, 2019 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      Post a couple of them here. I’d love to read them.

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