Threnody for the Humanities

by Brandon Marlon (September 2021)

Figure in a Night Landscape, Matthew Wong, 2017

Dearly beloved: We gather here this day
to bewail and lament the passing from this world
of a once mighty bough of the oak of learning
whose decease, unnatural and premature, eventuated
due to premeditated misfeasance on the part of
doctrinaire ideologues united in rebellion against God
while believing in communism with the zealotry of religious fanatics,
still longing and laboring for the dictatorship of the proletariat,
still mistaking Marx (to whom they nightly prayed) for Moses.

Who knew Humanities departments would be reduced
to warehouses of frauds, ivory towers of Babel
populated by vacuous nihilists prating inanities, constant nonsense,
meaningless gibberish precipitating the decline of civilization
vitiated from within by a tendentious cadre of tenured radicals
incubating and inculcating cohorts of grievance mongerers,
sissified solipsists enwombed in echo chambers
and infected with identity politics, the new opiate of the elite now
reflexively predisposed to dudgeon, as if feelings trumped facts?

Thus were the Humanities warped, hijacked, disfigured,
distorted into a melodramatic pageant of grudges;
who will ever pardon this cynical, generations-long
manipulation of matriculating youth
expecting education but experiencing indoctrination,
deserving a growth zone but granted a safe space,
unwittingly victims of a shell game producing
instead of individuals mere figurants in a mob?

Centuries hence none will comprehend in the least
the valorizing of all things subversive and transgressive,
the prevalence of relativism, the timidity in the halting
words of cowards careful to qualify everything to death,
the linguistic gymnastics of obscurantists whose sole aim
was ambiguity (fog as a goal)—that dense academic mist
designed to exclude outsiders and self-satisfy insiders,
a pathetic affectation of non-physician “doctors”
who in their credentialed obtuseness proved unlearned
in elementary algebra: obscurityprofundity.

Surely none will fathom how for decades (!)
completely impenetrable drivel passed for sagacity,
or why academe sought to complicate
when the real world strove to simplify;
all will simply overflow with relief and gratitude
for the restoration of the original trivium:
common sense, clarity, sanity.


Brandon Marlon is a writer from Ottawa, Canada. He received his B.A. in Drama & English from the University of Toronto and his M.A. in English from the University of Victoria. His poetry was awarded the Harry Hoyt Lacey Prize in Poetry (Fall 2015), and his writing has been published in 300+ publications in 32 countries.

Follow NER on Twitter @NERIconoclast
2 Sep 2021
Send an emailCarl Nelson
lots of chewy words, fun

8 Sep 2021
Send an emailArmando Simon

Order on Amazon or Amazon UK today!

Order on Amazon or Amazon UK today!

Order on Amazon or Amazon UK today!



Adam Selene (2) A.J. Caschetta (7) Ahnaf Kalam (2) Alexander Murinson (1) Andrew E. Harrod (2) Andrew Harrod (5) Anne-Christine Hoff (1) Bat Ye'or (6) Bill Corden (6) Bradley Betters (1) Brex I Teer (9) Brian of London (32) Bruce Bawer (22) Carol Sebastian (1) Christina McIntosh (869) Christopher DeGroot (2) Conrad Black (752) Daniel Mallock (5) David Ashton (1) David J. Baldovin (3) David P. Gontar (7) David Solway (78) David Wemyss (1) Devdutta Maji (1) Dexter Van Zile (75) Donald J. Trump (1) Dr. Michael Welner (3) E. B Samuel (1) Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff (1) Emmet Scott (1) Eric Rozenman (13) Esmerelda Weatherwax (10098) Fergus Downie (23) Fred Leder (1) Friedrich Hansen (7) G. Murphy Donovan (77) G. Tod Slone (1) Gary Fouse (182) Geert Wilders (13) Geoffrey Botkin (1) Geoffrey Clarfield (346) George Rojas (1) Hannah Rubenstein (3) Hesham Shehab and Anne-Christine Hoff (1) Hossein Khorram (2) Howard Rotberg (31) Hugh Fitzgerald (21503) Ibn Warraq (10) Ilana Freedman (2) James Como (25) James Robbins (1) James Stevens Curl (2) Janet Charlesworth (1) Janice Fiamengo (4) jeffrey burghauser (2) Jenna Wright (1) Jerry Gordon (2522) Jerry Gordon and Lt. Gen. Abakar M. Abdallah (4) Jesse Sandoval (1) John Constantine (122) John Hajjar (6) John M. Joyce (394) John Rossomando (1) Jonathan Ferguson (1) Jonathan Hausman (4) Jordan Cope (1) Joseph S. Spoerl (10) Kenneth Francis (2) Kenneth Hanson (1) Kenneth Lasson (1) Kenneth Timmerman (29) Lawrence Eubank (1) Lev Tsitrin (22) Lorna Salzman (9) Louis Rene Beres (37) Manda Zand Ervin (3) Marc Epstein (9) Mark Anthony Signorelli (11) Mark Durie (7) Mark Zaslav (1) Martha Shelley (1) Mary Jackson (5065) Matthew Hausman (50) Matthew Stewart (2) Michael Curtis (783) Michael Rechtenwald (61) Mordechai Nisan (2) Moshe Dann (1) NER (2594) New English Review Press (133) Nidra Poller (73) Nikos A. Salingaros (1) Nonie Darwish (10) Norman Berdichevsky (86) Paul Oakley (1) Paul Weston (5) Paula Boddington (1) Peter McGregor (1) Peter McLoughlin (1) Philip Blake (1) Phyllis Chesler (232) Rebecca Bynum (7246) Reg Green (30) Richard Butrick (24) Richard Kostelanetz (18) Richard L. Benkin (21) Richard L. Cravatts (7) Richard L. Rubenstein (44) Robert Harris (85) Sally Ross (36) Sam Bluefarb (1) Sam Westrop (2) Samuel Chamberlain (2) Sha’i ben-Tekoa (1) Springtime for Snowflakes (4) Stacey McKenna (1) Stephen Schecter (1) Steve Hecht (34) Sumner Park (1) Ted Belman (8) The Law (90) Theodore Dalrymple (975) Thomas J. Scheff (6) Thomas Ország-Land (3) Tom Harb (4) Tyler Curtis (1) Walid Phares (33) Winfield Myers (1) z - all below inactive (7) z - Ares Demertzis (2) z - Andrew Bostom (74) z - Andy McCarthy (536) z - Artemis Gordon Glidden (881) z - DL Adams (21) z - John Derbyshire (1013) z - Marisol Seibold (26) z - Mark Butterworth (49) z- Robert Bove (1189) zz - Ali Sina (2)
Site Archive