ryan quinn flanagan | optimism on daddy’s dime

Optimism on Daddy’s Dime

The graduating class of 1969
vowed to change the world
for the better.

The graduating class of 1971
promised to end war.

The graduating class of 1985
swore to rectify the injurious tradition
of unfair trade practices
and promote social justice.

The graduating class of 1997
gave an oath to combat human trafficking
and advance the cause of humanity dignity.

The graduating class of 2002
pledged to stem the tide of the effects
of global warming.

They are all gainfully employed
at present
and working towards a pension.

No word yet
on the rest of it.

0 Replies to “ryan quinn flanagan | optimism on daddy’s dime”

  1. The hope for poetic
    justice in ryan quinn Flanagan’s optimism
    is as short lived as is the quality of mercy in Shakespeare.
    BZ Niditch

  2. Hey BZ, thanks for the feedback. I would never have thought of that comparison, but it seems a very astute one to make, and quite fitting.


  3. I’m conflicted in my reaction to this one … first, the class of 1969 probably did better than this poem implies (but it’s a matter of nuances) … secondly, I struggle with talking about generations … 50% of each one is above average and 50% are below … name the topic and this will be true (for them) … then I get to the gainfully employed and working toward a pension … I sense that this is not as true as we might like to think (especially the pensions part) … and, yes, I know that being “gainfully employed” means being distracted from the lofty goals … but … but … I liked the shape of the poem … where it was going … it’s an idea … and I find it interesting that the poem left out the classes from the 1950s …
    Cheers! DaP

  4. Hey D.A., thanks for the feedback…always appreciated! I enjoy seeing how a fresh pair of eyes come at a given work. In part, you’re probably right about the class of 1969. The reason I left the classes from the 1950s out was simply because many of them would be retired by now, which would mess up the gainfully employed paradigm of the poem.

  5. Thanks for the explanation about leaving out the graduating classes from the 1950s (at times, I feel I could say much about them — but it’s probably better than I stay silent) … I was also wondering if, in your mind, you were referring to high school graduation or university graduation … perhaps an unfair question … and one wonders if it matters … cheers! DaP

  6. Hey D.A., funny thing is I hadn’t really considered whether I was referring to high school or university graduation when writing the work which may sound a bit odd, but it’s true.

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