Sappism. In this literary world abundant with theories, I’ve decided to found a new one for the new year–Sappism. Those who subscribe to its tenets will be referred to as Sappists. Fear of the sappy, the cheesy is a plague upon us all, cutting the tender from its mooring in the authenticity of heart. What’s to fear–The accusation of sentimentality. And yet sentimentality itself has had such a bad rap for so long that most of us can’t remember when it fell into the grip of easy disdain. Actually the accusation of sentimentality is usually applied solely and soulessly to anything smacking of the gentle, the tender, the straightforwardly affirming. And yet the most often used definition of sentimentality is an emotional reaction inappropriate to its stimulus. If that’s the case then why not apply the definition to the full range of emotional reactions inappropriate to their stimuli. Seems to me that there is more sentimentality in the range of rages, cynicisms, hype, baroque use of artistic technique, rampant excitement over trends in entertainment and art, shock, imposed distress, and on and on than in the range of responses to kitties (kittens), loneliness, honest love in the midst of all that mitigates against it, flowers, rain, and the kindness of strangers. And so, Sappism. Sappists. Join this ism. Risk the ridicule. Make it a movement.

Sappily yours,

3 thoughts on “Sappism

  1. Count me in! I remember when I interviewed Sally Smits in your intermediate poetry class. The title of my interview/essay was “Smits Says She’s a Sap”! HA!

  2. Being one of the biggest Saps, I thank you Jack, for allowing me to stand proud in my sappiness! I mean, I cried whenever Michael Landon did, as he looked at Half-pint with a bit of disappointment hiding the smile of a proud father. I found myself crying during the Ford funeral service when Dick (Argh) Cheney passed teh casket flag to Betty, and hears a sigh come from my mouth when she brought it to her lips and kissed it. We, who choose to feel, in this world of materialistic protectionism have found our guru – Jack, king of the Saps!

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