Alles In Ordnung! As usual there were no 390th-year remembrances or celebrations in honor of America’s first English poet, Thomas Morton of Merrymount—whose brave, good-humored, multi-creative life among cultures on the New England frontier was snuffed by the frightened, dour and brutal Plimoth Pilgrims and Boston Puritans (‘founding fathers’).
Morton’s jolly, multicultural, sexual and visionary 1627 May Day Revels scared the shit out of his racist Bible-toting neighbors as a bad example in front of the servants—and they still do. A successful place dedicated outright to “Maia, The Lady of Learning” was as un-future-American as it gets. Hence we return to the past’s 350+ foolhardy years of Morton’s malicious neglect. The good ol’ Boston Globe failed even to acknowledge receipt of the wisp of an article linked below. After all, Boston’s first order of business burned Morton’s thriving house down and hoisted him out of the country: who needs America’s oldest civic festival? It would cost a fortune to police, under the assumption that happy people are almost out of control.
The American Poetry Review, The American Poetry Society, and The American Poetry Foundation—like Salem’s “National Poetry Month”—are also annually uninterested in the Renaissance/American roots of their reason for being. Chicago’s spankin’ new multimedia American Writers Museum is already in silent lockstep. And while The Quincy Patriot Ledger cut this linked-below piece in half (why? cyber-“space considerations”?), it shares their page with the annual Dedham Ramble runners’ marathon—dedicated to “a writer oppressed by government,” and so of course reaching abroad to feature Ireland’s James Joyce.
Joyce was “oppressed” not by government but by Ireland’s crass Christian corpse of a culture. A Mortonite Joycean expat knows how they feel. When you kick all the angels out of town, you fill the woods with monsters.
Hope for today you’ll read aloud and feel a moment of Morton’s extraordinary music—“The more I looked, the more I liked it….”—at http://ancientlights.org/canaan2.html.
Both sides of The Great Waters, the real good guys go on waiting on the hill.