it may be unwise of me to try and do US atmosphere/imagery too much, since I’m not of there. But hey-ho.
Bryan Newbury’s post From Flatlands to Flat Earth is interesting, but perhaps not enough to build a whole poem around.
What do I know about Kansas? I went across it once on a Greyhound from Salt Lake City to Kansas City. My considered opinion – golly it’s flat. It makes Norfolk look like Switzerland. Again, not enough to build a poem around.
It’s suggestive that the only Western country where the teaching of evolution is controversial (as far as I know) is the one with the biggest legacy of racial tension. The Scopes Trial took place in apartheid Tennessee. The US is also unusually religious, of course, but as far as I know, other countries where religion is often a political force, like Italy and Ireland, are fine with evolution. Even Ian Paisley, who is as crazy as a ferret, doesn’t seem very interested in the subject.
Which is odd, really, because you’d think that evolution gave more scope for racist ideas than creationism. Or at least, creationism in the loose sense could allow for separate creations for people of different races, but creationism rooted in biblical literalism is surely restricted by the Adam and Eve story. “When Adam delved and Eve span, Who was then a gentleman?”, as Wat Tyler put it.