Wednesday, September 30, 2009

GOING ROGUE: A Poem about Sarah Palin & Her Book

Sarah Palin's Memoir, 'Going Rogue,' to Hit Bookshelves Early (ABC News)

Palin's title: 'Going Rogue' (Politico)

‘Going Rogue’ (Laugh Lines Blog-New York Times)

Why Would Anyone Call Their Book "Going Rogue"? Answer Below. (Huffington Post)

Sarah Palin has been a great source of poetic inspiration for me. Here's a brand new Palinoem for you:

Going Rogue: A Poem about Sarah Palin & Her Book
by Elaine Magliaro

The queen of mavericks
Wrote a book.
She thinks her title’s
Quite a hook.

It’s clear to me
That “going rogue”—
To Sarah P.—
Is still in vogue.

She wrote a memoir.
What amazes:
The book has
Lots and lots of pages!

More than 400…
So they say.
I wonder:
Is her co-author
Tina Fey?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Onward to a Teacher's Life: A Poem Written in the Style of Peggy Noonan

You may want to read this Political Verses post, Sarah Palin: A Farewell Speech and Poem, before reading the rest of this post.

I think Sarah Palin may have poetic competition. She’s not the only conservative with a lyrical sensibility when it comes to written language. Peggy Noonan could certainly give the ex-governor of Alaska a run for her money in the “prose to poetry” category. Poor scribe that I am, I can’t turn a phrase or manipulate words with the delicate finesse that Noonan, a former speechwriter for the late President Reagan can.

Ms. Noonan is going to be leading a study group at Harvard University’s Institute for Politics this fall—CREATIVITY IN JOURNALISM, IN POLITICS AND IN LIFE: A Writer's Perspective.

When reading Noonan’s description of Session One of her study group, I realized the woman was truly a poet at heart. I broke up her prose paragraph into shorter lines—and VOILA!!!—found a free verse poem to read and savor.

Session One:
Introduction: An Overview:
Onward to a Writer’s Life

by Peggy Noonan

Who I am.
Where I am from.
What I have done.
My career.
Being a speechwriter for Ronald Reagan;
being young at CBS News
when it too was young,
and the Tiffany Network,
and carried itself like the greatest army in the world,
with spirit and elan and pride,
and not a small amount of conceit.
Being young
and suddenly a colleague of Walter Cronkite
“the most trusted man in America”;
writing a daily commentary show for Walter’s successor
as anchor of the Evening News,
Dan Rather.
Being taught to write by the men
who were taught to write for radio
by a gentleman named Ed Murrow,
the inventor of broadcast news.

Oh, if only I could pen poetry as lyrical as Peggy’s! The great speechwriter/political pundit inspired me to attempt my own free verse poem, Onward to a Teacher’s Life.

Onward to a Teacher’s Life
by Elaine Magliaro
(In the style of Peggy Noonan)

Who am I?
Where am I from?
What have I done?
Questions I ask myself.
My career.
Being an educator;
writing lesson plans,
writing letters home to parents,
writing on the blackboard.
Being an elementary grade teacher
when I was young,
when my students were much younger than I
and ran around the schoolyard at recess
like a herd of wild mustangs,
their nostrils flaring,
their sneakered hoofs kicking up dust.
Being young
and suddenly a colleague of older teachers
who watched Walter Cronkite,
“the most trusted man in America,”
on the Evening News.
Being taught to teach by older teachers
who had been taught to teach
by even older teachers,
who had read of Plato,
an old Greek philosopher and teacher,
who had lived long before
the invention of broadcast news.

For Your Further Reading & Pleasure
Peggy Noonan Goes To Harvard, The Haiku (Mediaite, 9/25/09)
Enjoy This Dramatic Reading Of Peggy Noonan's Harvard Study Group Syllabus (Huffington Post, 9/25/09)
Harvard Students: Stop Whatever You're Doing and Register for Peggy Noonan's Class, NOW (Gawker, 9/24/09)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

BOOK TALK: A Poem for Banned Books Week 2009

Here is a revised version of a poem that I wrote in 2007 when there was a big kerfuffle going on over The Higher Power of Lucky, the children's novel that had won the Newbery Medal. You see, Susan Patron, the author, used the word "scrotum" in her book. I'm posting the revised poem for Banned Books Week 2009 (September 26th-October 3rd). BTW, I’ve left off the final couplet that was included in the original poem: Who’s got a solution antidotal/For the current row o’er something scrotal?.

Book Talk
by Elaine Magliaro

Dressed in uniforms of blue,
The word police arrived at two.
With laser eyes, they scanned our pages
And locked our naughty words in cages.
Then up we cried: “You’ve taken text!
Will you remove our pictures next?”

“Your pictures?” one policeman said.
“We only take the stuff that’s read.
Your naughty words must be excised.
Let all your authors be advised
To watch their words when they compose
Their poetry…and all their prose.”

Warning given…the men in blue
Then turned to leave. They bid adieu.
We books now left with words deleted
Feel somehow, sadly, incompleted.

NOTE: I have a list of links for Banned Books Week 2009 over at my other blog, Wild Rose Reader.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Dirty Dancing with the Stars: A Poem about Tom DeLay

Tom Delay on Dancing with the Stars

Jack Cafferty: When DeLay Goes To Prison They Can Show His Dancing Video To The Inmates (VIDEO)

'Crazier than Sarah Palin' Tom DeLay in precarious position on 'Dancing With the Stars'
by Elliott Olshansky Tuesday, September 22nd 2009, 4:00 AM

DeLay proves he’s no wild thing on ‘Dancing’ By Linda Holmes, contributor

Dirty Dancing with the Stars: A Poem about Tom DeLay
by Elaine Magliaro

He’s a “Wild Thing” that’s for sure!
Watch him dance across the floor.
“The Hammer” shakes his aging booty
While cha-cha-ing with a dark-haired beauty.

Wearing a sequined vest, silk blouse…
Dressed all in brown, this slick-haired louse
Looks like a feral chocolate bunny.
It’d sure be sad if it weren’t so funny!

Still a "Wild Thing" at his age,
Tom should be locked up in a cage…
And not out dancing with the stars—
But stuck behind some iron bars!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Creationists Work to Keep a Movie about Darwin from Being Screened in the US

First, some people do their best to censor books in school and public libraries—and now they’re working to keep Creation, a movie about Darwin, from being screened in the United States.

I’m a reader of Jonathan Turley’s blog. Turley is a professor of law at George Washington University and a constitutional scholar. I found the following post on his blog today—Movie Selection of the Fittest: Creationists Block Internationally Acclaimed Movie on Darwin From Being Shown in U.S.

Turley writes in his post: The film has been the target of creationists, who remind distributors that only 39 percent of Americans believe in evolution. Jeremy Thomas, the producer of Creation, notes “[t]he film has no distributor in America. It has got a deal everywhere else in the world but in the US, and it’s because of what the film is about. People have been saying this is the best film they’ve seen all year, yet nobody in the US has picked it up.”

You can read the rest of Turley’s post here.

CREATION: Darwin Movie Trailer

And from Telegraph.CO.UK, 11 Sept. 2009:
Charles Darwin film 'too controversial for religious America'

A British film about Charles Darwin has failed to find a US distributor because his theory of evolution is too controversial for American audiences, according to its producer.

Creation, starring Paul Bettany, details Darwin's "struggle between faith and reason" as he wrote On The Origin of Species. It depicts him as a man who loses faith in God following the death of his beloved 10-year-old daughter, Annie.

The film was chosen to open the Toronto Film Festival and has its British premiere on Sunday. It has been sold in almost every territory around the world, from Australia to Scandinavia.
However, US distributors have resolutely passed on a film which will prove hugely divisive in a country where, according to a Gallup poll conducted in February, only 39 per cent of Americans believe in the theory of evolution.

I find all this extremely troubling! How about you?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

MARIA: A Song Parody about Maria Bartiromo

I don’t know how many of you saw Mara Bartiromo—aka the “Money Honey” of CNBC—talking with Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) about health care on MSNBC the other day. If you didn’t see her, you may want to check out the following video. Listen to Maria ask Weiner—a man in his forties—why, if he thinks Medicare is so good, he’s not on the plan! OY! How dumb is dumb?

BTW, I’m working on my new invention—the Bartirometer, a scale we can use to determine just how clueless some of the “talking heads” on TV really are. Of course, Maria would be at the top of my scale, which will give highest scores to the most ignorant individuals.

Weiner Sets Bartiromo Straight on Health Care Reform

Well…after watching Maria in the above video, I was inspired to write a song parody in her honor. Here is my version of Maria—with apologies to Stephen Sondheim who wrote the original lyrics.

Asked the stupidest question I ever heard.
Maria, Maria, Maria, Maria…
Her query to Anthony Weiner was so absurd!
Maria, Maria, Maria, Maria…
I just heard a girl named Maria
Say something that’s so dumb.
I think her brain’s gone numb.
Oui, oui!
I just saw a girl named Maria
She’s clueless as can be…
Ain’t she?
Say it loud: She’s the Money Honey
Who’s so ignorant that it’s truly funny.

I’ll never stop laughing…Maria!

The most bodacious bimbo I ever heard.

Here are the original lyrics by Sondheim:



Maria . . .
The most beautiful sound I ever heard:
Maria, Maria, Maria, Maria . . .
All the beautiful sounds of the world in a single word . .
Maria, Maria, Maria, Maria . . .
I've just met a girl named Maria,
And suddenly that name
Will never be the same
To me.

You can read the rest of the lyrics here.

Read the following post at TAIBBLOG, Matt Taibbi’s blog at True/Slant: Maria Bartiromo shows us how media has helped sandbag health care reform

And here’s another video for your viewing pleasure:

Matt Taibbi & Maria (The Clueless Money Honey) Bartiromo Discussing Health Care Reform on Morning Joe

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Political Pop Singers: Four Couplets

Liz Cheney & Pa
The spawn of Lady Macbeth and her snarly fella
Singing torture songs a cappella

Glenn Beck & Michele Bachmann
Crazy Glenn harmonizes with a bug-eyed chanteuse—
A duo of right wing musical abuse

Shrillo Billo
Listen to his vocal crescendo
And not-so-subtle innuendo

Charles Grassley
“I want choices!” Listen to him croon.
Health care options are a different tune!