Major Jackson Heads Up Obama Tribute, in Poetry – Sadie Williams – Seven Days – 4/26/17
On the Renga for Obama. Interesting both because of the political significance and because of the collaborations that went into it. 200 poets were paired off to write pieces such as this one by Paul Muldoon and Elizabeth Alexander:
Made in Hawaii,
Jakarta. African cool.
and then came Michelle.
A garden kept them grounded.
Those two girls. Kale. Kohlrabi.
“While the piece is still unfolding, the general tone is one of reverence. ‘As an African American male,’ Jackson says, ‘[Obama’s] journey to the White House, and his modeling of thoughtfulness, diplomacy, care — that crosses my mind given the increasing reaction to this moment, to the divisive place we are today. Poets practice that same attention and alertness to language, and I think it important we continue to model that kind of carefulness in dealing with each other.'”