September 12, 1907: The Day Poetry Died

poetry

A Brief History

On September 12, 1907, Georgian Poet and politician Prince Ilia Chavchavadze died, the victim of murder by 6 thugs, believed to be Bolsheviks from the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party.  Georgia at that time was part of Russia, and Prince Ilia was a pro-Georgian nationalist that was critical of the Social Democrats.  To this day, Prince Ilia remains perhaps the most revered man in Georgia.

Digging Deeper

Prince Ilia had been a member of the Russian Duma, their form of legislature under the Czar.  Prior to membership in the Duma, Prince Ilia was born in 1838 and received a good education, including literature and the arts.  He fought against Dagestani invasions as a member of the militia, and was trained in military arts as well as academic ones.  Moving to St. Petersburg and attending the University there, Prince Ilia composed many of his most memorable poems.  He also worked as a journalist, essayist, and author, as well as renowned poet, an eloquent voice for the nationhood of Georgia.  Ilia was canonized a saint by the Georgian Orthodox and Apostolic Church in 1987, known as “Saint Ilia the Righteous.”

Prince Ilia was not the only poet that died on September 12, as Eugenio Montale of Italy died on Septe12, 1981 (he was a Nobel Laureate in 1975 for Literature), one of Italy’s greatest poets.  Closer to home, Robert Lowell of the United States died on September 12, 1977.  Lowell had twice won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and served as the Poet Laureate for the Library of Congress.  In the July 2013 issue of Harper’s Magazine an article titled Poetry Slam (or the Decline of American Verse) starts off with an homage to a Lowell poem, contrasting its artistry with what the author perceives as much less quality American poetry today.

In honor of these revered poets of the past, History and Headlines will now regale you with an original poem by Major Dan.  Enjoy, and please feel free to critique the poem as you will.

I Hate Trees (a poem)

I think that I will never see

A thing I hate as much as trees

While in the wind their foliage shudders,

I have to clean leaves from my gutters

Their roots disrupt the sewer lines,

Trim them back or pay the fines

They give the birds a place to stoop,

While on my car the birds do poop

Their roots lift up the concrete grade,

Then they bend my lawn mower blade

Who planted them so close to home?

An idiot, or just a Gnome?

Trees smash your house with a giant trunk,

Which will cost you quite a chunk

Pick up branches and rake the leaves,

Trees will always make you grieve

Their Peaches and Pears attract the bees,

God how I hate the trees!

They make it hard to cut the grass,

All these trees can kiss my butt

I don’t like skunks, do you?

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Historical Evidence

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B Is for Bad Poetry (Hardcover)


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Major Dan

Major Dan is a retired veteran of the United States Marine Corps. He served during the Cold War and has traveled to many countries around the world. Prior to his military service, he graduated from Cleveland State University, having majored in sociology. Following his military service, he worked as a police officer eventually earning the rank of captain prior to his retirement.