Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sarah Palin: A Farewell Speech and Poem

I call Palin’s speeches WTF prose (to myself) because I can never figure out the points she is trying to make in them. I find my brain meandering in the morass of her excess verbiage when I’m trying to comprehend what she’s attempting to tell people who are listening to her oral streams of consciousness. I wonder: Does she even have a clue what she’s saying?

You’ve got to see the following video of William Shatner performing an excerpt from Sarah Palin’s farewell speech on the Conan O’Brien Show.

Here's the link: Excerpt from Sarah Palin’s Farewelll Speech performed by William Shatner

Okay…now I get it. Palin’s not writing prose—she’s writing poetry. That’s makes it all clear to me now. Walt Whitman, scooch over! You too, Carl Sandburg! Make room for Sarah Palin in the pantheon of American poets.

Here’s an excerpt from Sarah Palin’s farewell political poem:

And getting up here
I say
it is the best road trip
in America
soaring through nature’s finest show.
Denali, the great one,
soaring under the midnight sun.
And then the extremes.
In the winter time it’s the frozen road
that is competing
with the view of ice fogged frigid beauty,
the cold though,
doesn’t it split the Cheechakos from the Sourdoughs?
And then in the summertime
such extreme summertime
about a hundred and fifty degrees
hotter than just some months ago,
than just some months from now,
with fireweed blooming along the frost heaves
and merciless rivers that are rushing and carving
and reminding us that here, Mother Nature wins.
It is as throughout all Alaska
that big wild good life teeming along the road
that is north to the future.

Click here to read the full text of Sarah Palin’s farewell speech. (Text provided by The Mudflats blog.)

Oh, if only I could write poetry like that!

If I only had the ability
to combine random thoughts
into an incoherent mélange
of mile-long mutterings
that captures the essence
of my poet’s soul.
If only I could
pen poems
with a strong and perceptive hand
about tiny, delicate, vicious little starlets
trying to take away our right to bear arms.
If only I could
write like Sarah does
with heart and estrogenic machismo
about subjects like hunting and skinning big game
for lunch and sustenance.
Oh, to write poetry like Palin!
It’s not politics, I mean…poetry, as usual!

Check out the following post from The Mudflats blog: A Final Bon Voyage from Cordova…

Sarah Palin’s Farewell Speech (Part 1)

Sarah Palin’s Farewell Speech (Part 2)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Ramblin' Prose: A Song Parody about Sarah Palin's Resignation Speech

Excerpt from Sarah Palin, the Anti-Poet by John Lundberg (Huffington Post—July 19, 2009)

Watching Sarah Palin resign the other week, I remembered how frustrating it is to listen to her speak. She uses simple words, but combines them into a fog that's hard to penetrate, out of which a few political clichés like "freedom" and "reform" appear. Most politicians, of course, obfuscate to some degree, but Palin is a master, and she does it constantly. Look at how she turns a simple statement into a mind-numbing puzzle (this is from Hart Seely's terrific collection of found poems taken from actual Sarah Palin quotes):

You know,
Small mayors,
Mayors of small towns--
Quote, unquote--
They're on the front lines.

A quick analysis reveals why understanding Palin can be such a challenge. She follows a folksy "you know" with a clear misstatement--"small mayors"--which she follows with a clarification, which she then amends with the inexplicable "quote, unquote." By the time she gets to her point--that small town mayors are on the front lines (which she could have simply said)--one is too bogged down in misstatements, repetitions, poor syntax and folksiness to know what to think. This is, no doubt, why her interviewers often look a bit stunned, jaw slightly agape, when Palin finishes answering a question: they don't have a clear idea of what she said.

You can read the rest of the article here.

After listening to Palin’s resignation speech a few weeks ago, I was inspired to write a poem entitled Sarah Palin’s Swan/Duck/Goose Song. (You can read that poem here.) Soon after writing that verse, an idea for a parody of Ramblin’ Rose, a song made famous by the late Nat King Cole, popped into my head. You’ll find that parody, Ramblin’ Prose, below. The rhythm may be off a bit in my version--what the heck! But first…I thought you might want to listen to the original version of the song as sung by Cole in the following video:

Ramblin’ Rose Sung by Nat King Cole

Ramblin’ Prose: A Song Parody about Sarah Palin’s Resignation Speech

Ramblin’ prose, ramblin’ prose
What you’re sayin’ no one knows.
Your speech is inchoate—needs more work.
It’s just a mishmash of ramblin’ prose.

Ramble on, ramble on
Your thoughts meander—hither…yon.
You’re talkin’ ragtime—that’s your style.
Just keep on ramblin’ until you’re gone.

Ramblin’ prose, ramblin’ prose
Why you’re resignin’, heaven knows.
You’ve given your reasons, so you say—
But we’re bewildered by your ramblin’ prose.

Your ramblin’ prose did not disclose
If you’ll run for president. I suppose
You’ll write a memoir, go work at FOX.
You’ll keep on ramblin’ with your prose.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Sarah Palin's Swan/Duck/Goose Song

The waterfowl on Lake Lucille could be heard commenting in the background as Sarah Palin informed the media she would be stepping down as governor of Alaska.

Sarah Palin Resigns

Sarah Palin's Swan/Duck/Goose Song
by Elaine Magliaro

Hithery dithery dock,
I’m list’ning to Sarah P. talk.
Her thinking is muddled.
The geese are befuddled.
They’ve started to gather and squawk.

Hithering withering wits,
She’s sending the geese into fits.
They’re honkin’ and flappin’.
She’s breathless and yappin’.
They think that the gov is a ditz.

Hithery plithery pluck,
The geese are all running amuck
As the gov blathers on.
Ah, but soon she’ll be gone.
They’re so glad she won’t be a lame duck!

A Little Extra
From Jonathan Turley’s Blog--Palinotology: Sarah Palin States That, If President, She Would Be Protected By The “Department of Law”

Friday, July 3, 2009

The Warrior: A Mother's Story of a Son at War by Frances Richey

Here is an excerpt from Frances Richey’s website about her book:
When Frances Richey's son, Ben, a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and a Green Beret, went on the first of his two deployments to Iraq, Richey began to write. The Warrior is her urgent and intensely personal exploration of what a mother is feeling as her only son goes off to war, as she says good-bye to him, misses him, prays for him, and waits for him to come home.

At the heart of this memoir in verse lies a mother's love for her son-a son from whom she feels distant both literally and metaphorically, for she is opposed to the war but nevertheless realizes that she needs to understand and support the choices he has made.


That was the summer he rappelled

down mountains on rope

that from a distance looked thin

as the dragline of a spider,

barely visible, the tension

he descended

into the made-up

state of Pineland

with soldiers from his class.

They started with a rabbit,

and since my son was the only one

who’d never hunted,

he went first. He described it:

moonlight, the softness

of fur, another pulse

against his chest.

You can read the rest of the poem here.



Before he left for combat,

he took care of everything:

someone to plow the driveway,

cut the grass.

And the letter he wrote me,

just in case, sealed

somewhere, in a drawer;

can’t be opened,

must be opened

if he doesn’t return.

You can read the rest of the poem here.

This is a poem Frances Richey wrote after she visited with her son when he was preparing to deploy to Iraq in the fall of 2004.

To My Son in Iraq

Frances Richey


At Wild Rose Reader, I have an original “tortoise” acrostic and reviews of two pictures books with fables written in verse.

At Blue Rose Girls, I have a poem by Jack Spicer entitled Psychoanalysis: An Elegy.

Tabatha A. Yeats has the Poetry Friday Roundup this week.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Poetry from Iran

I have no snarky verses for you today. is some poetry from Iran.

From NPR

Poetry from Iran, One Tweet at a Time

Iran’s National Poet Speaks Out

More Iranian/Persian Poetry

Rumi’s Poetry

Iranian Women Poets

Midnight Approaches (A Brief History of Persian Poetry)