Saturday, August 25, 2012

Quotation Of The Day: Poets Edition

From this Charles Simic post in the New York Review of Books:
In a country that now regards money as the highest good, doing something for the love of it is not just odd, but downright perverse. Imagine the horror and anger felt by parents of a son or daughter who was destined for the Harvard Business School and a career in finance but discovered an interest in poetry instead. Imagine their enticing descriptions of the future riches and power awaiting their child while trying to make him or her reconsider the decision. “Who has recognized you as a poet? Who has enrolled you in the ranks of poets?,” the trial judge shouted at the Russian poet Josef Brodsky, before sentencing him to five years of hard labor. “No one,” Brodsky replied. He could have been speaking for all the sons and daughters who had to face their parents’ wrath.[emphasis mine]
The bolded sentence rings true, and if I may so bold to paraphrase Lincoln, one wonders how a nation so conceived and so constituted can long endure.

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