Alles In Ordnung! This May Day is the 390th birthday of America’s first English poetry (posted on the Maypole of 1627 on Massachusetts Bay). And as usual there were no remembrances or celebrations in honor of the 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 (our “founding fathers'” founding fathers).
Morton’s adventurous, cool-headed, 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 foolhardy centuries 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, the first order of Business from Boston’s first “court of law” was an order to burn down Morton’s thriving trading-post and to hoist him out of the country. No matter what the proposal toward his deserved resurrection, Boston and Quincy find a way of not getting it done. Who needs, after all, new annual Revels that would be America’s oldest civic festival? Why should taxpayers or sponsors foster community, commerce and creativity?
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 runner’s marathon called the Dedham Ramble—which its organizers dedicate to “a writer oppressed by government.” Naturally, this means reaching abroad to feature Ireland’s James Joyce.
Joyce was “oppressed” not by government, but by Ireland’s crass Christian corpse of a culture. An expat still learning from Morton and Joyce 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.