Friday, July 1, 2016

Hot Flash Friday: The Voice of a Generation

Or something like that. We can all contribute our voice, become one of MANY voices that make a generation distinct.

Are you familiar with the term Millennial? It makes me laugh. People get labeled without ever getting a vote—is this how you want to be referred to? Gen Xer. Baby Boomer, Lost Generation.

The group of young people disillusioned after a horrific World War (I!—often called The Great War, because they had no idea there would have to be TWO of them) decided to drink gin, hang out in cafes, and write “modern” stories. Hemingway, T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound (though to be honest, he was part of another generation—the super crazy), HD, Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald—to name a few of the “lost” souls.

And the British poet Stephen Spender.

I was introduced to his work by Marilyn Nelson who recently gave the Zena Sutherland Lecture at the Harold Washington Library. He was a poet whose writing spanned several great and ungreat wars, dozens of love affairs and liaisons, and upheaval. It seems he knew the questions and didn’t propose any answers. He was a voice of that time.

Millennials are also referred to as the Harry Potter generation which makes them sound so cute—but who is envious of a generation stuck with student loan debt, lack of job security, falling wages, and rising sea levels. They are basically screwed (by the Baby Boomers—and the GREATEST Generation—who pretty much sent planet Earth to hell in a handbasket). They are writing and creating under a tremendous burden, beneath the dark shadows of an impending apocalypse.

I plan to write more later about Spender and his poems about his parents, about waiting in Railway Halls, about Berlin, about his friends.

Sometimes all we can do is record the NOW, use the present in order to preserve the past.

Write now write. What is happening now in your life (albeit a boring one) but one of significance. Add your voice by flashing a flash memoir of the here and now. Write the hard things.

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