David Orr investigates the day jobs of some modern poets, and notes “the university job is a relatively recent development in Anglo-American poetry.” Indeed, as this playful illustration from Incidental Comics makes clear, poets have engaged in a wide array of salaried jobs – from pediatricians to bank clerks to diplomats. Previously, we took a look at writers and their day jobs, too.
Now we’re all ‘friends,’ there is no love but Like,
A semi-demi goddess, something like
A reality-TV star look-alike,
Named Simile or Me Two. So we like
In order to be liked. It isn’t like
There’s Love or Hate now. Even plain ‘dislike’
Is frowned on: there’s no button for it. Like
Is something you can quantify: each ‘like’
You gather’s almost something money-like,
Token of virtual support. ‘Please like
This page to stamp out hunger.’
April is the cruelest month, I’ve heard a poet say
But not for me because there’s Poem in Your Pocket Day
Each year, I get to publish my new verse – it’s quite a perk
Too bad reporters always ask me to describe my work
California poet laureate Juan Felipe Herrera dropped in on NPR as guest DJ last week, and you can listen to the full thirty-minute radio show, as well as five of the tracks he played.
“Faced with such misery, a little spiritual compromise doesn’t look like such a bad thing. That [Charles] Baudelaire was incapable of such compromise was his undoing and our good fortune. Like a blasphemous Jesus, he took on our worst sins — pride, sloth, envy, lechery — and turned them into art.”
The Poet Who Died for Our Sins: On Charles Baudelaire by Stephen Akey
The figure of Baudelaire – dandy, rebel, enfant terrible, hysterical hypochondriac — compels such fascination that it’s almost possible to forget he wrote a few poems too.