Sunday, October 6, 2013

"The Malady of Dishonesty" by Rev. Joseph C. Booth (1926)

The Malady of Dishonesty.


Written for The Troy Times.

Dishonesty's a moral leprous sore,

        A deadly cancer that perverts the heart,

        A gorging leach that sucks the better part

Of its possessor—glutted with his gore,

Who cheats his fellows robs himself far more,

        For conscience will become a fiery dart

        To make him at his guilty shadow start,

And run when none pursue, and bolt his door.

Dishonesty bepowdered is a sham,

        And stolen dollars prove a man a thief;

No magic wand can make a wolf a lamb,

        Nor gifts of charity give thieves relief;

"Thou shalt not steal" rings in the culprit's ear—

The voice of God that strikes the thief with fear!

        Brandon, Vt.

Troy Times July 17, 1926.

Would that the bosses of CSEA, the Hearst Corporation, SUNY, and such others as might benefit did read such things and would that that they took it all to heart!

"a vast and continuing terrain of popular poetry, work that remains invisible until we look at literary history from that vantage point and until we venture into the extensive archive of newspaper poetry, something few literary scholars have been willing to do. Ignorance about poems published only in newspapers […]".

Nelson, Cary. "A Century of Innovation: American Poetry from 1900 to the Present." The Oxford Handbook of Modern and Contemporary American Poetry. Ed. Cary Nelson. NY: Oxford University Press, 2012. 6.

"A random walk through the newspapers of the nineteenth century is a surprising experience. Consider the case of poetry. Poems appeared in newspapers during colonial times and were commonplace in the early republic. During the stormy days of party strife poems were often political or satirical in nature, but they were nonetheless considered to be important to the editorial mix. Some writers—Philip Freneau was a good example—moved from newspaper editing to poetry. Others moved the other way. It was not considered off in 1829 that a poet of the stature of William Cullen Bryant would take on the editorship of a newspaper. During his nearly half century as editor of the New York Evening Post, Bryant published a good deal of verse, sometimes his own, although he was scrupulous in avoiding the appearance of using the Post as a vehicle for his own poetry.

Douglas, George H. The Golden Age of the Newspaper. Wesport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1999. 133.

A random walk: "One of the basic situationist practices is the dérive, a technique of rapid passage through varied ambiences. Dérives involve playful-constructive behavior and awareness of psychogeographical effects, and are thus quite different from the classic notions of journey or stroll.

"In a dérive one or more persons during a certain period drop their relations, their work and leisure activities, and all their other usual motives for movement and action, and let themselves be drawn by the attractions of the terrain and the encounters they find there. Chance is a less important factor in this activity than one might think: from a dérive point of view cities have psychogeographical contours, with constant currents, fixed points and vortexes that strongly discourage entry into or exit from certain zones."

Debord, Guy. "Theory of the Dérive." Bureau of Public Secrets - situationist texts and translations.

"Five decades after newspaper verse seemingly succumbed to extinction, some parties now labor to reintroduce newspaper poetry's aesthetic dodo into journalism's dwindling winds."

Stein, Kevin. Poetry's Afterlife: Verse in the Digital Age. University of Michigan Press, 2010. 75.

Newspaper poetry used to be so common there had been yearly anthologies of it. For entirely different kinds of newspaper poetry, see and

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