Dr. Word Says: Trump Tries His Hand at Poetry – David Safier – The Range – 7/19/17
Safir comments on the 2nd sentence of Trump’s tweet:
“Did Trump intend the sentence to have a poetic ring, or was his phrasing borne of the necessity of keeping the message to 140 characters, which happens to be the exact length of the tweet? One might as well ask, is an especially evocative Haiku beautiful because the poet intended it to be so, or is the beauty of the poem an accident caused by the constraints of the seventeen syllable, five-seven-five form? Since I readily grant the author of a splendid haiku credit for the work, who am I to deny our president similar credit for the felicity of his phrasing?”
On the one hand, articles about Trump being a “poet” seem absurd. On the other hand, it may be worth while to study Trump’s patterns of speech and what poetic devices he does, consciously or not, use. (Would Hillary Clinton have had a better chance at winning if she were a more poetic speaker? Barack Obama was a big poetry advocate, after all…. ) Perhaps college students majoring in political science might benefit from taking poetry courses….Just a thought. Also see Robin Lakoff, Donald Trump, true American poet? Quartz, April 8, 2016 for an attempt to use poetry to explain Trump’s appeal.