Quarrels have long been in vogue among sages;
Still, though in many things wranglers and rancorous,
All the philosopher-scribes of all ages
Join, una voce, on one point to anchor us.

Quarrels have always made money—not friends…
The media needs them: their bread is their butter.
Fake news will approve, and it furthers their ends
As they drain every issue straight down to the gutter:
Quarrels have long been in vogue among sages.

Humanity’s sinful. You may disagree—
But the levites and wranglers concur with this fact.
Your genes still transmit what you choose not to see
And the emperor’s naked; it’s all a big act.
Still, though in many things wranglers and rancorous . . . 

History shows us that poetry’s useless;
Philosophers-kings will assume they can govern.
Bombs will explode their ideas as worthless;
You huddle in shadow. It’s Plato’s great cavern . . . 
All the philosopher-scribes of all ages.

Christ is the anchor: it’s madness or heaven;
Your soul is the boat and you head for disaster.
You move toward the reef… your craft will be riven—
Call NOW on the Lord, for the current drives faster:
Join, una voce, on one point to anchor us.



write a Spanish form called a glosa – literally a poem that glosses, or explains, or in some way responds to another poem. The idea is to take a quatrain from a poem that you like, and then write a four-stanza poem that explains or responds to each line of the quatrain, with each of the quatrain’s four lines in turn forming the last line of each stanza.

James Mangan: A Song from the Coptic

Jough: Po Mo

But why have a “National Poetry Month”?
The mainstream and popular activities in American culture don’t have, or need, a “national month.” You won’t see a “National Watch TV Month,” or a “National Football Month” because those are activities that people engage in without encouragement or convincing.
“Black History” and “Women’s History” months represent a subjugated sub-culture of American life. Never mind that women make up more than fifty percent of the American population and are therefore a majority. The fact is that the histories of these two groups was probably under- appreciated at some time, at least enough for someone to think that it may help to make a “Month” for their groups.
Poetry too is a ghettoized genre of American reading. It seems that most people respect poetry, are perhaps a little afraid of it, think that it’s beyond them, it’s boring, etcetera. So in order to sell more books of poetry, the AAP created “National Poetry Month” to bring poetry into the National Spotlight of the Under-Appreciated. It’s too bad that most of the poetry that they promote is of the vaguest and most unappealing kind being written. It’s necessary, though, when listening from their local shopping mall, for people to be able to fully understand a poem by hearing it only once. Any poems that require deeper readings to unlock their hidden treasures would be unsuited to the task of providing background noise while people pound down Big Macs in the food court.

National Schmational: Do We Really Need A “National Poetry Month”?

Copyright © by Jough Dempsey, 4/4/02,