Academic journal article Women's Studies Quarterly

Mistaking the Great for the Alienated

Academic journal article Women's Studies Quarterly

Mistaking the Great for the Alienated

Article excerpt

For the 2004 Crestwood Secondary School valedictorian

One who is alienated

no longer owns his world,

his words.

Yet, we clapped and clapped,

championing your alienation.

You, our valedictorian,

held the key to success.

Employment, even.

You, our valedictorian,

were destined for greatness.

From Winston Churchill

to Walt Whitman,

you nailed it. Quoting

fifteen tried-and-true scholars,

you took on the dominant,

delicate language,

maintained unity, and

refused to offer one real, raw,

vulnerable word. Not one.

Herd speak. Pure, polluted

herd speak. At seventeen,

I noticed. Wedged between

two sucks with similar surnames,

I noticed a sea of robots:

cheering and chanting.

Scanning the room,

I hoped to spot a free-thinker,

straining to smile or clap.

Straining for something other than

shoddy, sloppy copy. …

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