Thursday, October 2, 2008

SARAH PALIN FOR POET LAUREATE

I have long loved poetry. My tastes are quite diverse, ranging from the Rustbelt intellectual Philip Levine to the ruminative Susan Stewart. I am now reading the extraordinary experimental, lyric reflection on Detroit, The Straits, by the immensely talented Kristin Palm. And I encourage you to visit Mirabile Dictu, the brilliantly polymathic Canadian blogger and poet, who intersperses verses with informative posts on feminism, human rights, and politics.

After reading this piece by Hart Seely at Slate, I am now convinced that Sarah Palin is America's most innovative poet. Step aside Levine and Stewart. What I thought were rambling, inarticulate answers on foreign and domestic policy are actually powerful examples of what Seely calls an "arctic-fresh voice" who composes "intensely personal verses, spoken poems that drill into the vagaries of modern life as if they were oil deposits beneath a government-protected tundra."

I have taken the liberty of posting Seely's transcriptions of Palin's extraordinary verse:

"On Good and Evil"

It is obvious to me
Who the good guys are in this one
And who the bad guys are.
The bad guys are the ones
Who say Israel is a stinking corpse,
And should be wiped off
The face of the earth.

That's not a good guy.

(To K. Couric, CBS News, Sept. 25, 2008)


"You Can't Blink"

You can't blink.
You have to be wired
In a way of being
So committed to the mission,

The mission that we're on,
Reform of this country,
And victory in the war,
You can't blink.

So I didn't blink.

(To C. Gibson, ABC News, Sept. 11, 2008)


"Haiku"

These corporations.
Today it was AIG,
Important call, there.

(To S. Hannity, Fox News, Sept. 18, 2008)


"Befoulers of the Verbiage"

It was an unfair attack on the verbiage
That Senator McCain chose to use,
Because the fundamentals,
As he was having to explain afterwards,
He means our workforce.
He means the ingenuity of the American.
And of course that is strong,
And that is the foundation of our economy.
So that was an unfair attack there,
Again based on verbiage.

(To S. Hannity, Fox News, Sept. 18, 2008)


"Secret Conversation"

I asked President Karzai:

"Is that what you are seeking, also?
"That strategy that has worked in Iraq?
"That John McCain had pushed for?
"More troops?
"A counterinsurgency strategy?"

And he said, "Yes."

(To K. Couric, CBS News, Sept. 25, 2008)


"Outside"

I am a Washington outsider.
I mean,
Look at where you are.
I'm a Washington outsider.

I do not have those allegiances
To the power brokers,
To the lobbyists.
We need someone like that.

(To C. Gibson, ABC News, Sept. 11, 2008)