After the Exile: Poetry and the Death of Culture — The pagan was closer to van Dyke and Tennyson than we are. They have poetry, and we do not. We are a people now illiterate in a way that is unprecedented for the human race. We can decipher linguistic signs on a page, but we have no songs and immemorial stories in our hearts. Students can weigh this elegy for its concerns and whether “Hamilton: an American Musical” counts.