Matt showed me this poem today, which he saw on Andrew Sullivan’s blog, The Dish. Sullivan actually has a poetry editor for his blog, Alice Quinn, who happens to be the executive director of the Poetry Society of America. She posts a poem or two per week to the blog, I guess to provide a balance to all of Sullivan’s mostly political commentary. An interesting editorial strategy.  Anyway, the form of the poem is interesting given our recent ruminations on sonnets, meter, and rhyme. (Quinn has posted quite a bit of traditional verse over the past few weeks, including three sonnets by Renaissance poet Samuel Daniel.)

Matt and I wondered if Hudgins’ poem reflects or transcends Orange Is the New Black. But since neither of us have seen the show, we have no way to judge. Does Hudgins romanticize or sentimentalize the incarceration of women? Or does he humanize it? Is poetry better than television–or not? And what does it mean that Hudgins writes this poem using such traditional meter and form? (That last question, I know, is incredibly nerdy. But you all know who I am.) Would love to hear your thoughts on it.



One thought on “A poem for Monday–is it, or is it not, the new black?

  1. I have seen Orange is the New Black (Season 1 is much better than Season 2, in my opinion, except for the final episode of Season 2, which rocked), and for me, Hudgin’s poem does reflect the show–or what the show wants to do. But, what the show wants to do (depict the beautiful intimacy that can happen in a horrible place) makes me uncomfortable at times, just the same way laughing at Hogan’s Heroes feels weird. WWII and women’s prisons just really aren’t warm or sweet or funny. Still, I don’t get the same awkward feeling reading Hudgin’s poem; it feels genuinely beautiful to me, but as someone who has devoted their life to reading and teaching literature, I’m pretty biased. Poems do beauty and intimacy way better than TV.


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