Saturday, September 28, 2013

Day 265 of the 365 Days of Blogging

The author, Dane F. Baylis


I was invited. I went. That's about the best spin I'll put on it. A few months ago I posted on this blog asking readers impressions on the whole Poet Laureate thing. I understand a national title. Even states, I guess, are entitled to their claim to having a distinguished poet to come up with unobtrusive verse to cover certain functions. The dedication of a ball park, or dam, or dog run. What have you.
Now we are seeing more and more county, city, and township posts being created. Hell, as far as I know, they might extend down to the settlement or crossroads with more than two structures. I attended an event tonight that was part Laureates on Parade and part cheering squad for the creation of yet another such position. This one has the unique quality of not being supported by the local government, thus no funding is provided, there is no recognition outside of the local Arts Council, and, being a county-wide concept, has little or no visibility and endorsement outside of the aforementioned august body.
Really? Look, I'm all for a higher profile for poetry. If you can find a way of pulling that off outside of the cyclical rise and fall of artistic trend I'd love to hear it. My true belief though, boys and girls, is that this is the way it has always run. For a half a decade or so things are smoking hot, and then you better hand out the long johns and mukluks because the trend has left the building.
But I did my duty. I showed. I applauded at the seemingly appropriate places. I even rubbed a little elbow here and there. Then I got out of there promptly and with little adieu. Guys, I'm a writer, not a friggin' laureate candidate or potential appointee to the position. I'm behind the keyboard, which is where writers belong. The rest of it is window dressing. But, good luck with the Crusade. Somebody's got to carry the banner.
Just my humble opinion.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------, love, write. Leave the laureating to the usual candidates, college professors with time to kill.
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Dane F. Baylis
Non-Laureate and Author. 

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