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effect shrewd preferences

12/20/12 , , , , , , , ,

check out this poem by my lowercase sister evie shockley.  in it, the poet/professor encourages us to actively hold our politicians & media accountable for their actions.  as you read, see if you can hear a performance within the words created in part by her use of consonance and assonance:

effect shrewd preferences
by Evie Shockley

the screed seen here blesses
        the sweet, the meek, the gentle,
                the serene. let eyes ensembled
peep the news sheets: ere
        december descends, we'll elect
                the next pres, reps, etc. when
we welter, cede the wheel,
        we let greed-questers enter
                (well-dressed jerks!). they send
themselves the green we need,
        help themselves fleece the sheep
                we be. we're the perfect prey!
the press sleeps the sleep we
        deserve, then bleeds berserk
                text between celeb tweets. we'd
best reject the mess, steer
        the fleet between these repellent
                hells. veer! swerve! reverse!
here's the pledge: we'll expect
        better press. elect the decent
                men, the keenest shes. revere
sense. never feed spleen lest
        we weep endless weeks, red-
                eyed, bereft. let excellent pens
represent the experts' ken, help
        peeps remember key elements.
                let's select well. we'll revel yet.

evie-shockley

(via poets.org)

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comments

Sorry, have difficulty comprehending. Can you assist?

Maureen

12/20/12

sure, here’s my general summary of it (let me know if you have any specific questions beyond that):

in the poem, shockley points out a few issues:
1.) we elect gov’t leaders who abuse the power we give them by “taking the money we need” & acting like “well-dressed jerks”
2.) instead of calling out these corrupt officials, the press/media “sleeps” and chooses to make a big fuss over less important things like celebrity gossip (“bleeds berserk text between celeb tweets”)
3.) all the while, society’s response to both is too passive. the poem equates us to “sheep,” something “gentle,” “sweet,” “meek” & “serene” in the beginning but later also something that’s “fleeced” (“the perfect prey”) by both politicians (we’re the one who “ceded the wheel” to them) & press (their slumber echoes our own “the press sleeps the sleep we deserve”).

in response, the poet calls on us to be more active & conscientious (“revere sense”). instead of simply “ceding the wheel,” we should be the ones “steering the fleet from repellent hells.” one way we can do this is making sure that we’re appointing “decent men” & “the keenest shes” to our gov’t over the “greed-questers.” also, we have to demand that the press/media produces more things that actually help society instead of just lulling us into a stupor. the “effect” then of such “shrewd preferences” would be a better world/life.

note

12/20/12

with all due respect, why do you always used lowercase letters in all your poetry?

David John

08/27/13

i can’t speak for prof. shockley, but i found this interview where she explains her use of lowercase letters: http://www.deadmule.com/essays/an-interview-with-evie-shockley/

note

08/27/13

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