Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Books as Wares, Poetry Month 2013 - Day 10


 
Books as Wares:
A response to those who think celebrating publications on Facebook is elitist


I would say that
intellectual elitism
means
one lords one’s way of life
and thinking
over someone else’s
way of life
and thinking
and that she believes
people who don't get
advanced degrees
for whatever reason -
lack of opportunity
and funds,
emotional
or
cultural
intimidation,
language challenges,
choice,
and so on -
are less than.

In another matter
or perhaps the same -
arrogance walks with
and assumes
an air of superiority
one who is overbearing in her claims.
Professors and teachers often
have this problem
because they're taught
and paid to be
expert in their subjects.
In my view,
the challenge for experts
is how to leave their professorial
and pedantic
manners
in the classroom.
This is not to say 
that experts who write
and craft books
who spend their time editing and proofing
and reading and re-reading
so others can learn the subjects 
they're expert in,
should hide the finished work they do.

When their articles and books are published,
experts have as much right to show their wares -
that is what books and articles (and poems) are
wares (products of work)
as the hats of hat designers are wares
as the cabinets of cabinet makers are wares
and the bridges or houses of architects
and the working-pipes of plumbers
as the electrician’s exacting light-fixtures
as the hairstyles of hairdressers
are wares and the dance of the dancer.
Any ware, any product - especially books
in my opinion - working
to move our poor suffering
lot of humanity
forward
is worthy
of Facebook
display
and celebration. 
-Esther Altshul Helfgott

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