NaPoMo QOTD Everything You Need to Know, Karl Will Tell You

"The law of grav-
ity is the law of art.
...As the lad said: We must love
one another or die."
 - Lower the Standard by Karl Shapiro*

Karl Shapiro served as Consultant in Poetry (Poet Laureate's old school title) from '46-'47, right when he returned from serving in the military. He was immediately a darling of the publishing world, but after refusing to record Ezra Pound's poetry for the Library's recording series (He wasn't supporting any of that Fascist shenanigans) and publicly criticizing T.S. Eliot and Pound, he fell out of fashion with the public. His autobiography was titled Reports of My Death after the NYT crossword assigned him the clue "deceased poet."

Despite a decided lack of popularity for the latter portion of his career, Shapiro was a pretty snazzy guy and wrote poetry for everyone. He never really felt totally included anyway. I guess that comes with the territory of being a great artist sometimes, though.

*From The Poets Laureate Anthology, published by W.W. Norton in association with the Library of Congress. Poem copyright Karl Shapiro.


Joni Rodgers said…
I love Karl Shapiro's poems, but I fear he was not a very nice guy.

Note to Shapiro estate: KINDLE!

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