Sunday, May 29, 2011

Memorial Day is not victims’ day

Over at Contentions, I reflect upon Memorial Day by contrasting Allen Tate’s “Ode to the Confederate Dead” to Robert Lowell’s thirty-years-later “For the Union Dead.” Twenty years in the South elevated Tate above Lowell in my estimation.


forcheville said...

These poems are a generation apart in time and a cosmos apart in mentality.

The sound on the 60s:

"Colonel Shaw
is riding on his bubble,
he waits
for the blessèd break.

The Aquarium is gone. Everywhere,
giant finned cars nose forward like fish;
a savage servility
slides by on grease."

I still remember how good it once sounded in tutorials, although now it seems just a cheap score, gliding by on its own grease.