A little something to learn from John Newton, perhaps

Tuesday April 17th, 2012

Once college football players cross the stage at the NFL draft, they generally pass out of our purview for good, but by special reader request, we will respond to Cam Newton writing a poem commemorating the unveiling of a statue memorializing his brief and bright career at Auburn.

We hate a lot of modern art, though we will support at the top of our lungs the necessity of its existence and the right of other people to create it. We just don't want to have to look at it. It took moving to this neighborhood after college and being immersed in gallery openings all the time to finally embolden us to take a stand against having to stand in poorly lit converted warehouses pretending to find meaning in artisanal crayon cuneiform homages. It's one thing to go to, say, the Louvre, but for some reason we don't have much use for living artists, and find it difficult to see man's inhumanity to man in an acrylic-painted lightbulb attached to a board that blinks with the precise frequency of a mockingbird's flapping wings. It is not for us. We were around 25 before we realized this was OK.

We feel the same way about modern poetry. That's a lot of introductory text, but we feel it's important that you, gentle readers, know the barren well we're coming from when asked to evaluate art. Here now, the opening stanzas of Newton's poem, as lovingly transcribed by the Opelika-Auburn News:

365 days that was my tenure

But for some strange reason it felt like I’ve always been here.

All the blood, sweat and tears it took to get this

I’ll always honor and cherish this.

My road to the top had a couple pit stops

But during my time at Auburn the love of the Auburn family would not let my moral drop.

Cadence it has not, but all poems are supposed to rhyme, we're pretty sure, and by that standard this is an unassailable Work Of Art, for which Mr. Newton is to be roundly commended. William Carlos Williams, wherever you're spending eternity, we hope you are newly ashamed of that business with the plums.

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