Thursday, November 06, 2008

Election Poetry

The Times published five poems for the election, on the opinion page. The McClatchy poem was in the International Herald Tribune. I hope they continue to publish poems!

I've only skimmed the poems, but their different approaches made me wonder about how they might be received by those who do not otherwise read poetry. Since I do read poetry regularly, the poems are all in styles that are relatively familiar to me, but I can imagine that August Kleinzahler's poem will leave a lot of people who do not read contemporary poetry shaking their heads!


Doug P. Baker said...

Mary Jo Bang and J. D. McClatchy wrote really interesting and involving poems. The first three were pure unfiltered crap. I speak as one who makes his life reading poetry, not as a political partisan.

Bang and McClatchy were able to dissacociate themselves from one outcome or another and contemplate the depths of meaning, the resiliance and fragility of democracy in action; they delved deeply into the idea of a politics "of the people, by the people." The first three were more pathetic stump speeches, worthy only of an exhausted candidate who has been reduced to reading blindly what jargon a speech writer has already prepared.

I was discouraged until I got to those last two. Bang and McClatchy produced poems that will live longer than the reign of the whoever is the current victor in the polical sphere.

Andrew Shields said...

Thanks for the comment, Doug. I enjoyed the McClatchy, too. I'll refrain from commenting on the others as I really did just skim the ones on the screen.