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Many of us I've noticed, have Key Ideas Which We Hold Dear
& Which are responsible in general & in sum & all

For holding us together
Body & Soul.

All day long, hand in hand, we walk with them;
At night, we get in bed with them & snuggle up for comfort.


No wonder then, that we tend to feel a sense of Threat
Or even find we're filled with fears

When someone knocks upon our mental door;
        & then (before we can even begin to answer)
Just passes through it-- like it wasn't even there!

& Simply by whispering some new Idea--even a good one!--
Into our unsuspecting or else deliberately stopped-up ears

Finally in effect, goes running amuck
Like a bull inside our psychic China-Shop.


Certainly a new or fresh idea, on those relatively rare occasions
        when we encounter it
--On T.V. or The Net, or in a book or in the movies, or even in a single
        poem or pamphlet

Has a certain power--at least at first, before we can get used to it--
To mentally challenge & upset; disconcert & even hurt!


So just in case someone whom we know
        should ever surprise us & come up suddenly
With a notion or even several notions, which are fresh & new

Wouldn't it seem to make a lot of sense
For them to pause ceremoniously; & then to say for openers
        a polite "Excuse Me Please!"

Before challenging
Dear Ideas & Cherished Philosophies?

Dear Ideas & Cherished Philosophies.  A few words about each poem, & litmag publication history where applicable, appear in this space for each poem at each page of this site. Curious non-publication history of 'Dear Ideas': poem was scheduled for publication by The Southern Review in later '80's or early 90's, until a retro, pre-1978 US Copyright Law-type permissions form reached author, denying reversion of all rights to authors after publication. Author then withdrew poem. Poem then withdrew from author. Typescript reapppeared after a dozen or so years. Poem is about the importance of ideas, including key ideas in our personal philosophies which sustain us all--& consequently, a certain understandable reluctance we may feel about modifying any of those ideas even if & when a better idea or two comes along. (Fresh ideas, as we know, have impact). A more conservative poem than some others at this site, it also envisions that dialogue is possible between Tradition & Innovation. Webversion, © 2003 by Michael Benedikt


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