POST-MODERNISM AND ALL THAT

We've heard, through hours of study,
The academics' song;
What's right is what's contemporary,
What's old is therefore wrong.

Or, if not wrong, misguided;
It seems we've been misled;
We'd listened too half-heartedly
To what our tutors said.

Yet earlier pundits in their day
Were just as positive
That what they said was gospel truth
And that this truth would live.

But had they read more literature
And rather less Lit. Crit.
They might in true humility
Have learned one truth, to wit:

That no one knows, nor can he know,
The worth of what is new;
Only Time's hand establishes
The truth of what is true.

Why not reserve our judgement, then,
On Carter, Beckett, Joyce,
Until a later century
Speaks with a surer voice ?

Bill Stanton
York University 1995

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