As writers of poetry we are witnesses of the past and legend makers of the future. Poets like poetry are incredibly dynamic, often painting a picture in words… using the least to exhume the most. And upon thinking about who is a poet; that can generate a multitude of answers.
In 1900 our esteemed thinker, Mark Twain, spoke at the Lotus Club; a well established New York City gentleman’s club. Well known for its membership, he was included in the roster along with other famous business men, publishers, artists, and physicians. It was here at The Lotus Club where periodic dinners honoring guests with speeches by unique individuals took place.
So…in thinking about poets I unleash today’s blog with more ingenious wit from Mr. Twain. Who better than to give us pause in our busy day!
“POETS AS POLICEMEN: Mr. Clemens was one of the speakers at the Lotus Club dinner to Governor Odell, March 24, 1900. The police problem was referred to at length.”
“Let us abolish policemen who carry clubs and revolvers, and put in a squad of poets armed to the teeth with poems on Spring and Love. I would be very glad to serve as commissioner, not because I think I am especially qualified, but because I am too tired to work and would like to take a rest. Howells would go well as my deputy. He is tired too, and needs a rest badly. I would start in at once to elevate, purify, and depopulate the red-light district. I would assign the most soulful poets to that district, all heavily armed with their poems. Take Chauncey Depew as a sample. I would station them on the corners after they had rounded up all the depraved people of the district so they could not escape, and then have them read from their poems to the poor unfortunates. The plan would be very effective in causing an emigration of the depraved element.”