An illustration featured in an 1894 issue of Puck magazine.‘The Fall of the Fourth Estate’ and Other Poetry by Randal A. Burd, Jr. The Society April 27, 2019 Beauty, Culture, Poetry 4 Comments The Fall of the Fourth Estate a rondeau The Media: the Fourth Estate* Performed disgracefully of late: Delivering the news askew, Allowing certain viewpoints through To fuel the discontent and hate. Campaigning bullies will berate The citizens and educate Their friends to start deferring to The Media. All politicians propagate Hypocrisy and subjugate Constituents with their worldview While building up their revenue, And few are eager to negate The Media. * “The Fourth Estate” is a term attributed to British politician Edmund Burke in 1787, referring to the press as a political force whose influence is not consistently or officially recognized. Humilitas There is this hope they will remember me, While not with flags half-lowered on the pole, As someone they would all aspire to be: A model man—another kindred soul. Intentions were befouled by circumstance. Accomplishments seem slight when said aloud. But when I failed to seize a second chance, I still survived unbroken and unbowed. There will be those who mark my death with tears As substance passes quickly into shade; I pray they judge my time productive years And face their circumstances unafraid. I leave this life to stand before a gate And pray to God my name’s upon the scroll, That afterlife may grant a better fate Than I deserve in judgments of the soul. The Captain to His Mate These days I often pause to contemplate How fortunate I am to share with you Our struggles overcome which left our fate Unbroken by the tempests rolling through. God knows some days we’ve been denied a breeze; However, we’ve survived the strongest gales To right the ship and head for calmer seas, Fair winds be damned as we unfurled the sails. Until our voyage runs its natural course, Land-sightings will be few and far between. No hurricane or like destructive force Exists to make our journey less serene. So long as you are with me on this trip, Survival means I won’t give up the ship. Randal A. Burd, Jr. is an educator, freelance editor, writer, and poet. His freelance writing includes assignments on the paid writing team for Ancestry.com and multiple online blogs, newsletters, and publications. Randal received his Master’s Degree in English Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Missouri. He currently works on the site of a residential treatment facility for juveniles in rural Missouri. He lives in southeast Missouri with his wife and two children. Views expressed by individual poets and writers on this website and by commenters do not represent the views of the entire Society. The comments section on regular posts is meant to be a place for civil and fruitful discussion. Pseudonyms are discouraged. The individual poet or writer featured in a post has the ability to remove any or all comments by emailing submissions@ classicalpoets.org with the details and under the subject title “Remove Comment.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 4 Responses C.B. Anderson April 27, 2019 Randal, All three were simple, clearly understandable and without technical or grammatical irregularities that I could discern. I like a poem I can just read, and not be forced to interpret. In this era of “fake news,” “The Fall …” was the most poignant Reply Randal A. Burd, Jr. April 27, 2019 Thank you. Reply Monty April 28, 2019 A bona fide Rondeau, Randal: containing a refreshingly-relevant topic for a poem (as opposed to the standard fare of “The way the sun reflected on the lake”, etc). Well mastered. Regarding Humilitas: the word “while” in L2 doesn’t make any sense to me. I also feel that the words ‘they will’ in L1 would read better as ‘that they’ll’; and the words ‘they would’ in L3 would be better as ‘they’d’. I say this because the fact that L2 contains the word ‘not’ would suggest that L3 should begin with the word ‘but’ . . hence the three lines would be clearly saying what you’re trying to convey: ‘not this, but that’. For example: There is this hope that they’ll remember me Not with a flag half-lowered on a pole, But as someone they’d all aspire to be . . In L11, I can see that your intention is: “I pray they judge my time (as being) productive years” . . but at first glance, a reader could be forgiven for seeing it as: “I pray they judge my time-productive years”. In The Captain: I wouldn’t suggest that it’s strictly necessary to insert a comma after the word ‘overcome’ in L3: but I feel it would certainly assist the reader. In L8, the word ‘unfurled’ should be in the present-tense: ‘unfurl’ . . because the words ‘right’ and ‘head’ in L7 are also in the present-tense. ‘Unfurled’ in L8 could only work if the words in L7 were ‘righted’ and ‘headed’. Overall, I feel these to be three very well-written pieces; all of which flow with a rich and imaginative use of language . . unforced throughout. It’s evident that you’ve got a natural flair for poetry . . lucky you! Reply Randal A. Burd, Jr. April 28, 2019 Thank you. 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