Comment on a Poem

I receive a poem a day from “Poem-A-Day,” and the poets
comment on their poems. I’m always interested in the
poets’ own take on their poems especially if I haven’t
a clue what the poem is about.

I have never done that, following the notion that
poems should be interpreted by the readers.

However, I’m breaking with that practice for the first
time concerning my poem, “Life in the Golden Mean.”

I set up a contrast between the Midwest and the east
and west coasts relating to global warming where it
is assumed to be “safer in the middle.” This, of course,
can be extended out to most “middle of the country” attitudes
toward the flaky coasts (born from a sense of cultural inferiority?).

The Leviathan, the pollution, is a scary reality for the Great
Lakes (the world’s greatest bodies of fresh water and increasingly
important for global water needs) and it is also a metaphor about
judging others without noticing the flaws of one’s own. We “hick”
Midwesterners have our own snobbishness. We look down our untutored/
unsophisticated noses at others.

I pastored two churches at the same time in southern Kentucky.
The country congregation of farmers and the children of farmers
was much less sophisticated than the county-seat town congregation
of merchants and professionals even though the farmers’ farms
made them much wealthier than the town folk. However, they could
always be “spiritually” superior to their more urban brothers and
sisters (read corrupted) not seeing, of course, their own sin of
spiritual pride born of a sense of cultural inferiority.

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