Example poetry

University of Chicago professor satirizes abortion supporters in Telegram poetry group

A University of Chicago medievalist has formed a social media poetry group that trains writers to poke fun at “awakened politics,” including abortion advocates, as part of what she calls an attempt to save Western civilization by preserving the English language.

Professor Rachel Fulton Brown, a medieval history teacher at the Chicago School since 1994, said she started the group on Telegram in the summer of 2020 with 10 people who quickly got to work on supporters of abortion.

“Poets are ordinary people of all ages and educational levels who seek to speak well and beautifully,” Ms. Fulton Brown told the Washington Times in an interview. “It is about recovering our English literary tradition in the public sphere.

Their first product, “Centrism Games: A Modern Dunciad”, is a satire of abortion advocates consisting of 210 stanzas, divided into seven chapters of 30 stanzas each. As part of the story, the Green Knight of the 14th century Arthurian chivalrous romance “Sir Gwain and the Green Knight” follows different groups of actual public figures and symbolic figures to illustrate modern political hypocrisy on the matter.

In a chapter titled “The Hollywoodlanders,” for example, a group of pro-abortion celebrities, including Meryl Streep, Gwyneth Paltrow, and JJ Abrams, meet the knight everywhere on a tour of Los Angeles.

“The Green Knight is the voice of conscience that harasses them for their hypocrisy,” Ms. Fulton Brown said.

At the end of the chapter, the knight mocks Michelle Williams, the actress who said in a January 2020 award acceptance speech that she was so grateful that abortion gave her the chance to make a career.

When the Cuomo brothers of New York – dishonored the ex-governor. Andrew and CNN host Chris – Take a New Orleans pub crawl, the Green Knight confronts them in another chapter, calling them to the task of being self-proclaimed Catholics who do not follow the teachings of the ‘Church on Abortion.

“He calls them fake Catholics and they get annoyed. They end up in jail and their lawyer will not let them out, ”Ms. Fulton Brown said.

The professor herself has co-authored a chapter in which a female priest, attracted by three witches, meets a woman who had an abortion sitting in a bloodbath and asking her her for a ritual to feel purified.

In stanza 20, the three witches say to the young girl: “Your belly is yours to use as you wish; fill it with gems – or someone’s water.

The priestess, drawn into the ritual, testifies while the young girl signs a satanic contract: “The young girl took the charter, wrote her name. / What was a soul worth when life offered glory?

The priestess, thinking that she has acquired knowledge and wisdom, becomes blind.

The poem finally satirizes the Rainbow Boys, a gay couple who, wanting a child, offer money to a student to be a surrogate.

After being inseminated, she realizes that it is her body, her choice, and she runs away.

Rimmed in heroic couplets, the poem is inspired by the heroic 18th century work of Alexander Pope, “The Dunciad”, which depicts journalists worshiping the goddess “Boredom”.

In “Centrism Games”, the characters in the poem worship the goddess “Fame”.

“Fame wants to have social approval and we meant that everything is serving fame in the public sphere right now,” Ms. Fulton Brown said. “The target was people who let go of their principles to be part of the group. “

The professor said she chose Telegram, an alternative platform that can have discussion groups attached to Instagram-style channels, because of its reputation for tolerating free thinking.

“It’s the platform where we can see world news more clearly. This is what you don’t see in traditional contexts, ”said Ms. Fulton Brown. She added that the group members enthusiastically took up the challenge of writing the poem in a disciplined manner based on traditional models.

“In our education, we have lost grammar, logic and rhetoric. This is not a critical theory of race, it is that we have lost the tools of thought to train our imagination and memory, ”she said.

The professor said the grammar, facts, dates and structures of classical English-language poetry improved the group’s ability to critically argue with current popular culture.

“We don’t know how to argue properly anymore. Think how much our public discourse, even in politics, is advertising, ”she said.

Reflecting the poetry of the Middle Ages, all of the group’s work is based on an explicitly Christian worldview.

Ms. Fulton Brown, who obtained her doctorate. from Columbia University in 1994 and tenured in Chicago in 2002, said her efforts as a historian to understand religious beliefs from within made it difficult for her to secure a tenure as a full professor .

“I don’t break the boundaries of academic freedom so much, but of my discipline. My real struggle was not so much what I can say in academia, but what I can say within my limits as a historian, ”she said.

Poetry group Dragon Common Room is currently working on a children’s poem, “Aurora Bearialis,” which is due out of its self-published DCR imprint this Christmas.

Ms. Fulton Brown describes it as a medieval Grail Quest for children with animal figures.

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