Sitting in a big hotel in Lusaka
Pleasant but sterile
Sitting by a lovely “water feature”
With koi and papyrus and purple flowers
And water lilies
[Publisher’s Note: The last Marshall Jamison poem we published here in Boles Blogs was — Paul’s Wife — on June 15, 2000. Marshall died September 2, 2003 at the age of 85. We still massively miss him. Boles Blogs author Steve Gaines — who worked with Marshall in educational television in Nebraska — recently found the following poem Marshall wrote to celebrate Steve’s retirement from the network. Steve was kind enough to email us Marshall’s original, handwritten, poem — which we are overjoyed to present to you today: The first new Marshall Jamison poem published here in 13 years; and a decade after his death.]
Robert Frost is one of our greatest American minds — and the delivery method for sharing his genius was the poem. On November 17, 2005, I wrote — Humility in Adoration — for Urban Semiotic, where I described the moment Mark Van Doren introduced Robert Frost to adoring fans at Columbia University in the City of New York:
The lesson of Coriolanus was echoed decades later by the genius American poet Robert Frost in 1950 when he was accepting an award at Columbia University. Frost whispered to his good friend — and fellow genius — Columbia Faculty member Mark Van Doren, that he didn’t think he deserved the award he was getting, but he felt it would be rude to go against the will of the people who wanted to honor and admire him.
Van Doren smiled, agreed, and introduced the great poet to a Columbia crowd who provided a thunderous standing ovation for Robert Frost. Mark Van Doren used that private discussion with Robert Frost to explain Coriolanus’ downfall in human terms his Shakespeare literary students could understand. The learning we must curry from Coriolanus and Robert Frost and Mark Van Doren is how we must all willingly accept praise and compliments from others without questioning intent or assuming there is a hidden purpose behind the kindness.
Think of the mighty Vincent Van Gogh — the beautiful paintings, the idea that he cut off his ear due to illness, the many hours people have spent staring at his art. Think of Van Gogh sitting in a floating rubber tube, sipping on a champagne cocktail while enjoying fresh escargot. Only one of these thoughts has any relation to reality, and it is distinctly the first one and not the second. While his artwork has been enjoyed by generation after generation and people spend money without even thinking about it about works like “Starry Night” on t-shirts, postcards, etc. Van Gogh did not actually make a viable living from selling paintings.
It has been a wild week of mindless copying and pasting from the old Go Inside website — to the New And Improved Go Inside Magazine blog — but we are pleased to announce we have over 750 articles dating from 1996, and before, right here for you to search and read and enjoy once again! Gordon Davidescu imported all 140 articles he wrote over the last decade or so and we now have 510 “Guest Author” articles that still ring with authenticity and authority.
If the Church mandates morality, and if the state fixes our appropriate behavior with laws, ethics, rules and values, what then, is the role of The Arts in the lives of the everyday citizen and must we require the state and the Church to not only support The Arts but to practice them as well?