For a century, "Greenwich Village" has been synonymous with "experimental" poets, the drug-inspired art scene, and the counter-culture, from Allen Ginsberg's "Howl" to William Burroughs's "Naked Lunch." Now, a Village poet has published a book of poetry inspired by Ayn Rand, and with a title taken from John Galt's speech. The publisher is the Atlas Society and sales, even before publication, are making it a best-selling first poetry book. (Read more...)
Discuss this Article(8 messages)
I usually do not get poetry. I read it well out loud, but I also declaim well in Spansh from science books -- with about the same comprehensive level. Not only do I understand this verse, I can see the structure: like the arches in a church, it holds itself up.
In numismatics, we say that it is better to regret the purchase you did not make than the one you did. I contravened that maxim to acquire this -- and to give one to someone who at once deserved it and had no reason to expect it.
Based on what has been posted here, Donway is some pretty good stuff.
I notice that the article asks the same question you do, without asserting it. I'm wondering if this was initially written for a Village audience, in an effort to get their attention. To them I suspect that Donway's work would seem right-leaning, both because of the Ayn Rand inspiration, and because a couple of poems are rather critical of Communist tyrants.
Still, I think someone could write left-seeming poetry while inspired by Ayn Rand. There is a strong individualist streak in a lot of the left, plus a strong rationality streak, so those aspects, just for example, can transfer well.
As for John Paul Sherman, there was a very strong individualist streak, but his work, that I've seen, didn't focus on current politics much. Please correct me if I'm wrong. (Edited by John Enright on 2/20, 7:31pm)
John, you may be right. In any case, Ayn Rand's ideas are very often incorrectly lumped in with Rightism/conservatism when in fact her ideas are a distinct alternative to the Left/Right dichotomy. It's hard enough when this mischaracterization is made by those unfamiliar, but when a self-described Objectivist who's a member of a prominent Objectivist organization creates the impression that Randian ideas are under the conservative tent, the falsehood is further perpetuated.
John Enright is correct. I wrote this release for the Village Voice. I said "on the Right" in the headline to capture the gist of the story in terms the audience would grasp quickly. This was a mistake, though. No one should lend credence to the suggestion that Ayn Rand's philosophy in any sense lies on the traditional "right." I won't do it again. At the very, very least I should have put "right" in scare quotes.
I could have said "A Village Poet Inspired By Ayn Rand."
Mea just plain culpa, here.
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