Saturday, January 23, 2010

Monkey and Poetry Convergence: O Magazine edition

The cover story of the latest issue of O Magazine, "100 Things That Are (Actually) Getting Better," includes -- along with newspaper puzzle sections (#50), airport food (#46), and floral arrangements (#1) -- Tonkin snub-nosed monkeys at #94:
"In the late 80's, the tiny primate was declared functionally extinct. But last year, 15 to 20 snub-noses were found cavorting in a remote jungle in northern Vietnam. Time will tell whether they'll be enough to save the species, but there was one very encouraging sign: three babies among them."
National Geographic comes in at #96:
"The yellow-border magazine has come a long way since the days of boys gawping at the native mammaries in its pages. See the recent dispatch on China's "instant cities," plus unrivaled photojournalism on malaria and the killing of gorillas in the Congo."
Most surprising, however is that poetry is #7:
"Dear reader, you may feel a twinge of trepidation,
But poetry is key to modern conversation.
In classrooms, poet laureate Kay Ryan makes
A case for passing time with Bishop, Frost, and Blake.
Or Keats—Jane Campion's Bright Star garnered rave reviews
For conjuring the young Romantic's passion for his muse.
Great poets—Robert Graves and Ogden Nash, e.g.—
Inspired Leave Your Sleep, Natalie Merchant's CD.
Even Stephen King has found a poet's perch.
He channels Coleridge in the epic "The Bone Church."
Those Levi's ads, meanwhile, attract both praise and venom:
Blasphemy or genius, Walt Whitman pitching denim?"
Considering how Oprah has been able to get people to actually read books, maybe she'll even get people to read poetry? A girl can dream.

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