Monday, September 17, 2007

Soft Targets and the Enemy

The official job description of the U.S. Poet Laureate contains a puzzling metaphor.

"The Poet Laureate ... serves as the nation's official lightning rod for the poetic impulse of Americans."*

We consult the Concise Oxford Dictionary (8th edition, 1990):

The Poet Laureate has been fixed to an exposed part of America to divert the poetic impulse of its people into the earth or sea.

"We seek an inadequate enemy, one who comes to capitulate. We seek the declared enemy," says the editorial We of Soft Targets.

I will let all this stand as an ideogram.

*As of July 8, 2013, this is still how the page at the Library of Congress reads.


Kirby Olson said...

What would you suggest as a better definition?

"Someone who can upon important occasions make it seems as if we are a literate nation."

Kirby Olson said...


Thomas said...

I sort of liked it with the typo in.

Kirby Olson said...

Yes, there is more irony. I shall let it stand.

Kirby Olson said...

If I can stanZa It.