Tue 19 Nov, 2002 09:07 pm
Ruth Lilly (of the Eli Lilly's) has just endowed Poetry Magazine with $100 million.
Now, obviously Ms. Lilly has the money to give and is free to give it as she sees fit. But it occurs to me that as wonderful as poetry might be, there are lots of other places that her money could have gone that would have done a heck of a lot more good for the world.
Do you agree or disagree?
Bandylu there is a newspaper distributed in the San Francisco Bay are written, produced, and distributed by the homeless. The cost is $0.25, or was as of May 1998. Anyway the distributors have badges issued and the money they collect goes to help support the homeless. The cost of producing the little newspaper is born by a coalition of religious groups. I think it is called Street Light, but cannot remember and am doing a web search for it. In that little paper there are lots of poems written by the homeless. Will keep trying to find the link.
And that newspaper would have been a fine place to donate that money, Joanne.
It was a good thing for the homeless and for the people who read it.
I have similar reactions at times to news of some peoples'
bequests. (there are people who have left millions to a cat!)
Nevertheless I was happy to hear of the donation to poetry magazine.
True, it seems hard to justify when it is placed against the needs of the homeless. If that were the standard however there would be no money for historic preservation, nature conservancy, or many other worthy causes that are not so immediate or dramatic as homelessness.
Yet the gift, by supporting poets (among the most notoriously undercompensated of artists) may help in the creation of great poetry for the next thousand years!
In the absence of proper governmental support for the homeless,
it seems unfair to burden every other worthy cause that receives private donations with the label of "less worthy'' .
Frankly, there is no way that private charity can be any more than a drop in the vast bucket of social welfare needs in this country.
It is a cornerstone of right wing ideology that government's vast resources should not be spent on human suffering, that that is private charity's job. Unfortunately, this fiction ignores the puniness of private sources as measured against societal needs.
I gather from the article that the Lily heiress, who is described as a billionaire, has donated other sums elsewhere. Perhaps she has donated to social welfare organizations too.
Everybody has his or her "thing". For some it is the homeless, for others poetry magazines, for others it's saving the whales, and a million other causes. IMO, it is not for me to say that one cause is "better" or more deserving than another, unless it is MY money that is being donated.
The Lilly heiress, did the correct thing by donating her $100 million to Poetry magazine. We need the fine arts and we especially need poetry.
I plan on establishing a fellowship in professional dance in NYCity with some of my money, upon my death. We need dance in this life and by gosh, we really need poetry. I am not donating to the homeless. I will donate to the Catholic nuns, who take care of the blind, however.
Have you ever thought of all the starving poets and dancers out there?
How do you submit poems to the Poetry Mag?
I think that they have a website, so you could try there. Also, check out the phone book for Chicago. The headquarters is in Chicago in a little apartment.
Can't find it on the website:
I would also like to add, that Ms. Lilly has donated lots of money to numerous charities in Indiana, the main home for Lilly pharmaceuticals.
I'll be considering sending in mine.
I have one on Poetry.com not sure if I gave up the rights on that one though.
Give it a try. It sure won't hurt.
Does that N stand for the Corn Huskers in Nebraska?
I'd also use some of the money to establish a vet practice devoted strictly to the medical care of poodles.
Snoring...on the city steps,
boots used as a pillow, arms folded...
Dreams a Homeless man,
fifties-like never to be young again,
sedated by sleep...
Rest, in freedom from smoke and noise.
Safe, unless someone sets him on fire.
Head, yet empty of bullets,
but composed for machete-hack job, waiting...
Or, nose tickled by feather of child, orphan from parent.
Body members still intact...
Oblivious...Oblivious dreams of kingdom, warmth, love, safety...
Mind, soulfully soaring above the Planet,
touches, wonderful flowers,
in ever changing fields of vision,
and permissable escape from humans, thunder, and rain.
Held up, by the bricks, walked on by me ants,
skin, burned by the Sun.
Glanced at, by the strangers of the city.
Long, from the place of cornfield and bean.
Sold out, by family and Nation to me place of no Home.
He spins, on a PLANET IN SPACE, WITH ENORMOUS TRIBES AND
Cold, from the deepest heat, warm from the fall of snow, out of place
above water, unwanted in view.
Left, by me womb of escape and addiction,
in a nasty world...a very nasty world...
With plenty of time eternal.
Exit by death, unto the place of Spirit and Peace.
Lost, from the folds of industry...
Tried, by the Judgement of Life.
Run down, by the horses of fear.
Lost, by the measure of man.
Loved, by the Man of me Cross.
...Hides not, the Homeless being.
...Walks not, the tired man.
Beats on...the pulse of life,
waiting for the dreamer,
inside the dreamer near.
Boots used as a pillow sleep.
Building... Homeless man.