I Made the New Yorker TWICE!

No joke. I am elated.
I only found out today.
From the August 29 article
Donald Trump, Poetic Muse:

While some poets are tentatively positive (“Call me a chump / But I’m with Trump”), the vast majority register negative reactions to Trump and his candidacy. These include shock (“Today I woke up and smoked / A cigarette of something illegal / And I freaked out / Because / Donald Trump is running for president”); scatological disdain (“Trump dumped on his rump / Hair lumped in a clump”); determined opposition (“We must now thwart the hatred”); escapism (“If Trump wins / I’m moving to Iceland / While he wreaks havoc on the states / I’ll be in Reykjavik eating steak”); and cleverly rhymed condescension (“The mallard was rebuked by Mitt; / adversaries began to bray. / The ducklings murmured: guy’s unfit / to be elected anyway”). 

The article continues, and quoted me again here:

Not all the poems about the Presidential candidates pick a side. One, called “Dual Airbags,” simply bemoans the choice at hand:
“It’s a bitter pill (more like pilloried) / So shall we now be Trumped or Hillary-ed?”

The first poem was from that period when Trump was attacking Cruz and Rubio:

🎼Música Cubana ♪ ♬

Donald quacks. We better duck.
Tell the Cubans to mute that trumpet
While we, together, improve our luck
(or end up ruled by a Socialist Strumpet.)

The mallard was rebuked by Mitt;
adversaries began to bray.
The ducklings murmured: guy’s unfit
to be elected anyway...

The second was written later, as I tried to decide, and lyrically deride, my electoral suicide:

 Dual Airbags

Give him a skinhead, insignia, boots

Less scruples, a swagger-stick, crowds, money.

No black shirts visible. Just business suits,

and pride is restored: tragic but funny.

Proud like a skyscraper, godless as sin

Babylonian promises, towering lies

Reality shows when plutocrats win,

Their rhetoric raining from empty skies.

She-wolves, elected by uninformed sheep

behave predictably, eyeing the flock

Their wool (and the lamb-chops) are hers to keep

Grazing voter—this should come as no shock.

It’s a bitter pill (more like pilloried)

So shall we now be Trumped or Hillary-ed?

Hilarioustrumpet

Both poem quotes were taken from my Hello Poetry site.

Great Sire of Floods: Mix-Master P.F.

I feel a bit guilty for posting Iggy & the Stooges recently so I need to reel it in and bring it back to the theme of this blog. This 18th Century quintessential American poem gets the most views here at ConnectHook. I love this poet’s imagery, patriotism, and octosyllabic rhyme. Give it up for Mix Master P. Freneau!

 

On the Emigration to America and Peopling the Western Country

Philip Freneau (1752-1832)

To western woods, and lonely plains,
Palemon from the crowd departs,
Where Nature’s wildest genius reigns,
To tame the soil, and plant the arts–
What wonders there shall freedom show,
What mighty states successive grow!

From Europe’s proud, despotic shores
Hither the stranger takes his way,
And in our new found world explores
A happier soil, a milder sway,
Where no proud despot holds him down,
No slaves insult him with a crown.

What charming scenes attract the eye,
On wild Ohio’s savage stream!
There Nature reigns, whose works outvie
The boldest pattern art can frame;
There ages past have rolled away,
And forests bloomed but to decay.

From these fair plains, these rural seats,
So long concealed, so lately known,
The unsocial Indian far retreats,
To make some other clime his own,
When other streams, less pleasing flow,
And darker forests round him grow.

Great Sire of floods! whose varied wave
Through climes and countries take its way,
To whom creating Nature gave
Ten thousand streams to swell thy sway!
No longer shall they useless prove,
Nor idly through the forests rove;

Nor longer shall your princely flood
From distant lakes be swelled in vain,
Nor longer through a darksome wood
Advance, unnoticed to the main,
Far other ends, the heavens decree–
And commerce plans new freights for thee.

While virtue warms the generous breast,
There heaven-born freedom shall reside,
Nor shall the voice of war molest,
Nor Europe’s all-aspiring pride–
There Reason shall new laws devise,
And order from confusion rise.

Forsaking kings and regal state,
With all their pomp and fancied bliss,
The traveller owns, convinced though late,
No realm so free, so blest as this–
The east is half to slaves consigned,
Where kings and priests enchain the mind.

O come the time, and haste the day,
When man shall man to longer crush,
When Reason shall enforce her sway,
Nor these fair regions raise our blush,
Where still the African complains,
And mourns his yet unbroken chains.

Far brighter scenes a future age,
The muse predicts, these States will hail,
Whose genius may the world engage,
Whose deeds may over death prevail,
And happier systems bring to view
Than all the eastern sages knew.

1785

Hoards of the Noble Dead versus the Future

John_Martin_-_Sodom_and_Gomorrah

Now, although it has come to seem in our time that we are deluged by communications, by the sounds—better, the noise—of voices pouring words out over the planet and making one contemplate an imaginary project like building a soundproof Noah’s Ark that could float above the confused, tumultuous waves of babble that are drowning the world, I think it better to recall from time to time that reading poetry, listening to poetry, is something utterly different from attending to the communications of journalism and mass literature and entertainment that permeate our waking and even our sleeping lives.

[…] For news to stay news, for news to become poetry, as Pound put it, it needs the poet who will transform patterns and structures of the telling, sublimate and reify the images of language, its tones and rhythms, and offer them as a fixed, a static, and a relatively atemporal, or non-daily, non-journalistic esthetic object. News must be rendered by the poet into a fairly permanent form like an unmoving rock in the torrent of passing time, or into a set of symbols that contain much more than signs do. We don’t require a semiotic treatise to make us aware that the challenge of poetry has always been the same: to render the signs, the message, the facts of words, even news stories, the dailyness of the daily, so to say, into symbolic utterances that are not coals, but diamonds. We all know that is the challenge.

Poetry must not be buried like the hoards of treasure buried with the noble dead in past ages, or by the defeated who were overrun by invaders. It must and will be fully present and available to speech and meaning, interpretation and understanding, now, no matter how hard it may be for people to learn to read it. It must be made now, and made out of our present as it is now, in order to enter the future.

Jascha Kessler at Eclectica