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Passions in Poetry

Poetry, Prose and Politics

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Balladeer
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0 posted 01-07-2008 03:16 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer


"You campaign in poetry but you govern in prose."

These are the words Hillary used against her competitors for the presidency. What did she mean? What kind of understanding did she expect to receive from the millions of viewers she said it before? Is prose supposed to be represented as a negative here? What does governing in prose mean? What distinction does she make between poetry and prose here? Inquiring minds (at least mine) want to know...

btw, she stole the line from Mario Cuomo, who had used it years before.
serenity blaze
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1 posted 01-07-2008 03:45 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

What was the context? (I've been asleep.)
Grinch
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Whoville


2 posted 01-07-2008 03:46 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

I think it simply means that you have to be concise and succinct when campaigning but  governing requires a more in-depth or methodical approach.

example:

A man gets imprisoned unfairly
Becoming quite bitter and surly
Escapes in a stitch
Ends up getting rich
Revenge is so sweet if not early

As opposed to the prose version - The Count of Monte Cristo
serenity blaze
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3 posted 01-07-2008 04:00 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Well I've often said I have a lot more freedom in poetry. (I can do away with pesky punctuation altogether if I like.)

Prose, on the other hand, is a lot more difficult for me. Y'gotta try to maintain tone, point of view, and stay focused on a goal.

That last part would be what I call "the curse of chapter six."

Balladeer
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4 posted 01-07-2008 04:16 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

you have to be concise and succinct when campaigning

Interesting, grinch. I come up with the opposite - that you can be flowery and non-specific when campaigning but concise when governing.

Actually, after further digging, here is Cuomo's direct quote and reasoning behind same..

Some years ago I said in a speech that politicians “Campaign in poetry but have to govern in prose.” In fact, if our candidates campaign in poetry instead of good hard specifics, and win, they may wind up governing… in vain.

Now, it that what Hillary meant? She dropped the "have to" and said it directly to Obama and it was reported as a direct criticism of him.
TomMark
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5 posted 01-07-2008 04:23 PM       View Profile for TomMark   Email TomMark   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for TomMark

You campaign with 8 lines and you govern for 8 years.

I think that she was purely playing the words so I'll not add significance to it....to make her a poet.

Grinch
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6 posted 01-07-2008 04:50 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

quote:
Interesting, grinch. I come up with the opposite - that you can be flowery and non-specific when campaigning but concise when governing.


In this specific case you’re probably closer to correct than I am, I was forgetting the political angle which is often more bru ha ha than Shangri la.

Huan Yi
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7 posted 01-07-2008 05:01 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


“Like so many politicians before him, he speaks lofty prose while leaving the wet work to underlings.”


http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=MjU1MDAxMTI5MDEyZWM5MTZhN2NmMjUyMmVlMmJiNTA=


.
rwood
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8 posted 01-07-2008 05:13 PM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

poetry= campaign, Mostly champagne & caviar words that everyone wants to hear.

prose= govern. Long story short, skip the chapters on foreign policy, start wars on everything (including books) serve a slacker-term, get pardoned from treason charges and write a book.


dunno, but me thinks she knows a little something about which she speaks.




Balladeer
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9 posted 01-07-2008 05:42 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

rwood, methinks what youthinks is pretty much on the mark
jbouder
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10 posted 01-07-2008 09:03 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

A state Senator once told me (half jokingly) that he only B.S.'s in his home district.  In other words, he says what he must at home to win votes.  Perhaps Hillary is describing the same phenomenon.

Assuming I'm understanding the context of her statement correctly, she seems to be using "poetry" here in the same vein as flowery rhetoric - sophistry without substance.

Jim
TomMark
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11 posted 01-07-2008 10:10 PM       View Profile for TomMark   Email TomMark   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for TomMark

Has GW Bush ever said something so educated that touched a poet heart?!
Balladeer
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12 posted 01-08-2008 12:33 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

You think her statement touches a poet's heart, Tom?
Essorant
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13 posted 01-08-2008 03:11 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Given in poetry or prose
Garbage still stinketh to the nose.
Not A Poet
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14 posted 01-08-2008 10:25 AM       View Profile for Not A Poet   Email Not A Poet   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Not A Poet's Home Page   View IP for Not A Poet

Well said Ess
TomMark
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15 posted 01-08-2008 12:47 PM       View Profile for TomMark   Email TomMark   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for TomMark

My dear Sir Balladeer, you, the poet, bothered yourself to make a statement to mention her.
TomMark
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16 posted 01-09-2008 01:12 PM       View Profile for TomMark   Email TomMark   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for TomMark

Can't let politics ruin your day, sir.
Huan Yi
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17 posted 01-09-2008 02:55 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.

“The teary, compassionate Hillary and her “human moment” were just in time”

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=YTgzNjZjOWEyOTRhYTQ4OGVjYzA0YzAyNTIyNjllYWQ


“Clinton aides said her win may be down to an extraordinary moment on Monday when she appeared close to tears as she talked about how much public service meant to her. “

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7179342.stm


Poetry, prose, or Oprah . . .

.
Bob K
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18 posted 01-19-2008 02:09 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K




     I'm unsure how I feel about the Democratic candidates.  I like that Hillary Clinton has laid out a point of view—my wife tells me—on women's rights and issues, and she seems for some odd reason to be in favor of them.  I'll have to ask my wife more about that.  My Guy, Eugene Debbs, dropped out of the race a while ago.  I thought Harken would have been great, if a bit too far to the right for my taste.  Most of the Democrats running today seem to me to be politically difficult to distinguish from Rockefeller Republicans in the sixties.  I find that sad.

     Politics has moved so far to the right that mildly right wing politics of forty years ago now is considered to be extremely left wing, and the word liberal, which is the same word as the "liberal" in the classical Liberal Education, meaning widely and deeply grounded in the full range of arts and sciences and trained to look at the world from as full a variety of viewpoints as available, has now become virtually a a profanity.  The meaning of "liberal" has not changed, you know.  The fact that the Democrats have mostly surrendered the use of that honorable word is a terrible criticism of the Democratic Party.  Of all of us who are Democrats.

     "Liberal" signifies a committment to openness of mind, to looking at the other person's perspective, to acknowledgement of honest error and to a willingness to learn from it.  It means a committment to religion and arts and sciences, all of them; and as strong a committment as possible; it's about balance, so a committment to science alone or to art alone or religion alone would leave a person unbalanced.  "Progressive" is about politics, mostly left wing politics.  As a "liberal," I'm free to admire the conservative values I actually find admirable on their own, and to push for them.  As a progressive, I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do.  I suppose I must refuse to become one.  

     I have had to ask myself about the current Republican crew and what it is about these Liberal values that they find so contemptable.  I don't ask that people on the Right share Left wing values. There are valid differences, but suggesting the very word "Liberal" is so hideous that we must be protected from knowledge of its very existence suggests more revealing things about these self-appointed protectors of public decency than it does about those who would stand up for liberal values.

     It suggests that these protectors of public values seek to protect us from having a broad education in the arts sciences and religion.  That being able to understand and sympathize with the point of view of the other is somehow toxic to having your own.  That being able to think clearly and to be able to use your thoughts to express yourself in your civic and personal life is not as important as letting others do your thinking for you.  That you need to let others tell you what to do in the realm of civic affairs and control access to the ionformation you need to make informed decisions.  I could go on, but I won't.

     Did Hillary Clinton make a comment about poetry and prose in her campaign.  I wish I knew.  I thank Balladeer for his attempts to clarify this.  What does Hillary Clinton mean by this?  I don't know that, either, but I'm a bit puzzled about the importance of the question?  Does this have something to do with Senator Clinton's ability to govern?  If it does, then we ought to have a discussion on her ability to govern and the potential difficulties there.  There may be some.  She's not the most politically attractive candidate to my mind in the running right now, but why the concern about campaigning in poetry and governing in prose?  It seems fairly straightforward to me.

     An indirect analogy is being drawn to courting behavior.  The more filled out version of the analogy would read, IN THE SAME FASHION that during courting one uses the giving of candy, and flowers, and the recitation of poetry to woo one's beloved to one's affections, BUT AFTER those affections have been won and a marriage has been secured, the daily life of the marriage is not filled with these things but more their memory, and is filled instead with the daily business of living a life together and building a relationship; YES, IN THAT VERY SAME FASHION, a candidate woos and wins the beloved electorate with poetic rhetoric, with rhetorical candy and rhetorical Flowers (fill in your Genifer Flowers jokes here, should you wish to do so), and should the suite of that candidate be successful, that candidate will govern in the relationship with his beloved in the same quotidian fashion that the romance of lovers is effected (though on a more ambiguous playing field of power relationships) through the everyday events and with a minimum of Flowers, and Candy, and only an occasional poem, thus, mostly, alas!, in prose.  That is, I believe, the filled out version of what the much better and more poetically said
aphorism was meant to indicate.  Aphorisms, being distilled, are meant to convey a lot in a short space, but I think I made a pretty fair translation.  

     Perhaps any of you other poetsout there speak better poetry talk than I do and would like a shot at translating the aphrorism that has been so difficult here.  Perhaps I haven't gotten it quite right.  And you know, many translations have fascinating variations.

Sincerely, BobK
 
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