The limits of sincerity
bitter, twisted lies
You may tread me in the very dirt
at her wits' end
She has been there and done that
in this race for the long haul
to make a difference
every woman and man who longs for fair play
Well, at least she didn't rhyme 'Sheik' with 'Greek' this time. But I find Angelou's 'poem', with its worn-out, vague, and sentimental language, indistinguishable from the stump speeches, soundbites, and TV spots which constitute the bulk of American political discourse. Poetry is supposed recompose and renew our language and our perceptions of the world, not recycle talking points from candidates' debates on CNN. Maya Angelou may be sincere, but her language is not. Poets should be the vanguard party of language, not clerks at the Ministry of Propaganda! As my mate Kendrick Smithyman used to say:
If we live, we stand in language.
You must change your words.