Hi Gunnar,
I hope is well in Europe and England.
I thought, as an American "patriot", I might add the following 2 small personal observations.
The world on my continent is much more critical of late, perhaps as a result of 9/11 and the attendant realization that sudden death on a massive scale for ordinary citizens of the world is a possibility.  There is a similar trend in poetry criticism, observed from my limited readings:  much fast complaint of a specific poem or poet, but not much analysis given to the larger view over decades.
Secondly, so few seem to recognize that the government in the United States has several branches and there are two major parties and many minor parties.  Thus, no matter where I stand, or Kate down in Florida, or Nancy north in Maine, we are all united as Americans and the pendulum swings back and forth in our best efforts to find the balance best for all.  There will always be successes and failures.  Again, turning to poetry, I am sorry that so few poets seem to know or want to know much or your confederation or even Chretien de Troyes.