Feb 102017
 

Kirby Congdon [Photo by Richard Watherwax]

by Kirby Congdon…….

What motivates people to deliberately abuse another person, as in gang rape, or group denial of a victim’s identity, or for a president to enjoy, as he does, a bullying personality?

We cannot understand such negativity because we don’t want to. It comes too close to our own need to dominate and to be superior. It originates in the thrill of being powerful, to control by diminishing a victim’s ability to retaliate. It is the foundation and the purpose of our society’s practice of competition and the insistence on public success. Our advertising in business has relied on vulgar, loud and super persuasive processes which have influenced the behavior and the processes of thought of would-be politicians unfortunately.

We want to do things thoroughly and do them well not so much as to find out who we are and what our culture is as much as it, so often, is to rid ourselves of the need to achieve understanding of what education is for. Also it is the obligation to win in a competitive society.

It is one thing to understand, say, a Beethoven sonanta and experience the music of it. It is something quite different to want to play it better than anyone else and get a prize. To be distinctive is to appreciate the experience of being a human being. The need to be more of a human being than anyone else transforms talent, knowledge and life itself into a game. It makes governing into a war of domination and it makes social behavior merely the indulgence of power and puts respect into a category of fear and intimidation. The advantage that this stance provides is that we can conveniently avoid having to think,

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Kirby Congdon

Kirby Congdon found his calling in the time of the Beat Movement, his poems being published by the New York Times, The New York Herald Tribune and the Christian Science Monitor as well as countless small-press outlets. While influenced by the assertive stance of a new generation in literature, he preferred to set aside the spontaneous approach of his friends and use his work as an exploratory tool in establishing the new identity of his times as well as that of his own maturation. This search was incorporated in 300 works which were compiled in a bibliography by a Dean of the English Department at Long Island University in his retirement and made available in hard-back with an extensive addenda by the literary activists of Presa Press through their skills achieved from the University of Michigan and their own experience which commands a movement in itself of contemporary literary action.


Congdon’s work in poetry covers innumerable treatments of countless subjects in single poems, long treatments on a subject, and many collections of both serious thought and imagination through not only the poetry but through essays, plays and ruminations. Named the first poet laureate of Key West, he received a standing ovation for his reading honoring this position and was the featured poet in a festival celebrating Frank O’Hara in the New York region. He was also asked to read his work as well as give a talk on the country’s national poet laureate, Richard Wilbur, at a seminar honoring that man. Currently, Congdon is working on an autobiography and a collection of complete poems.


 February 10, 2017  Posted by at 12:54 am Issue #205, Kirby Congdon, News  Add comments