Friday, May 4, 2012

Pity the Beautiful

Dana Gioia's new book Pity the Beautiful comes out May 8th. Here's the title poem:

by Dana Gioia

Pity the beautiful,
the dolls, and the dishes,
the babes with big daddies
granting their wishes.

Pity the pretty boys,
the hunks, and Apollos,
the golden lads whom
success always follows.

The hotties, the knock-outs,
the tens out of ten,
the drop-dead gorgeous,
the great leading men.

Pity the faded,
the bloated, the blowsy,
the paunchy Adonis
whose luck’s gone lousy.

Pity the gods,
no longer divine.
Pity the night
the stars lose their shine.

Posted with permission of the poet

* Dana Gioia's commencement speech at Stanford -- one that I think Poetry Fridayers will appreciate.

* Dana's poem Pity the Beautiful was paired with an article about Amy Winehouse's death (NY Times).

* I've talked about Dana's work before. (I first came in contact with Dana when I interviewed him for an article about Poetry Out Loud when he was the head of the NEA. He is a very charming man, imo.)

Elaine has the Poetry Friday round-up today at Wild Rose Reader.


Katya said...

I really love the line "the paunchy Adonis/ whose luck's gone lousy"
That really captures fading movie stars and High School reunions, doesn't it.

madelyn said...

I agree -- I went for that same line!!

Violet N. said...

Thank you for the poem and the links.

GretchenJoanna said...

I love Gioia -- yes, he is a wonderful man. I'm always thinking about things I heard him say on Mars Hill Audio interviews, and some particular lines and thoughts from poems come back again and again to bounce around in my mind and nourish me. I haven't kept up with him lately so I'm really happy to get news here. Thanks!

Linda B said...

I am reading the YA book with a group of middle school students now & we just discussed the perils of beauty & luck in social status today. I think I will share this with them next week, Tabatha. It speaks to who these students sometimes revere & perhaps will cause some good thought of their future. Thank you!

Tara said...

This is a new poet for me, so thank you for the introduction. Thought provoking speech, too....I forwarded it to my son at college, this is something we've been having conversations about. I may also forward this to the administrators in my building - there is much in the speech that they would benefit from, as well!

GatheringBooks said...

Awww. A lot to reflect about in this post: the transient nature of beauty and the fleeting fragments of forever. Gone too soon. :)
reminds one to look deep into things that are lasting ... those we can grip with our hearts and hold on to. Very lovely, Tabatha.

Mary Lee said...

Love the turn at the end. I knew it was coming, but he executed it with a race car driver's precision.

I can see the next post on your blog as I write this comment: "Hope is patience with the lamp lit." Ahh. That's a nice thought for the rest of us: those who are not the beautiful, but who carry on by virtue of our hard work and perseverance.