American Poetry in the Age of Whitman and Dickinson

Posts Tagged ‘American flag

The American Flag: 2009, 1819

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Fourth of July thoughts on Dick of the Dead and the Croaker poems, continuing on from what I wrote a few days ago:

The biggest difference between the two bodies of work may lie in their authors’ views of the United States. Dick is a product of post-Watergate America, of the Bush years and the Patriot Act. The Croaker poems were written after the War of 1812, in which Fitz-Greene Halleck (“Croaker, Junior”) took drills as a member of the Iron Grays, a New York militia. He and his collaborator, Joseph Rodman Drake (“Croaker”), were patriots in the old-fashioned sense; they waved their flag without anxiety or qualms. Rachel Loden, who wrote Dick of the Dead, is also a patriot, but she waves her flag under threat of confiscation, in opposition to the security state; her anxieties and qualms are inevitable: Read the rest of this entry »