Erasing Trump

The Trump-Era Boom in Erasure Poetry: How a poetic form gained new political purpose online in 2017. – Rachel Stone – The New Republic – October 23, 2017

“In these poems there is a desire to re-examine the institutions and narratives that shape Americans’ lives, from government bureaucracy to new media. The poems’ authors reassert power over language that has typically been used to determine who does and does not belong. And while poets have been reassigning meaning to texts in this way for at least a century, erasure has gained new energy at a moment when the country is deeply polarized—when official documents may hold radically different consequences and meanings for different people.”

Hooray to Eminem, one of our “literary greats” (?)

Eminem Lashes Out at Trump With Freestyle Rap Video

The full lyrics to Eminem’s Trump-bashing freestyle ‘The Storm’

Why am I posting this news on a poetry blog? See

 “…just how good are Eminem’s lyrics? Is all the fuss about him justified, or is it a case of hype over substance? In fact, a brief examination of Stan reveals it to have all the depth and texture of the greatest examples of English verse. To use the singer’s own language, it’s as ‘fat’ as Robert Browning – and it is with the Victorian master of sly irony that Eminem’s true ‘underground’ work is done”

Dailies 9/28: talking about money, stopping in a town to eat toast, your own palm, talking to an unborn son after the election, everyone has a house

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Tracy K. Smith – The Good Life

When some people talk about money
They speak as if it were a mysterious lover
Who went out to buy milk and never
Came back, and it makes me nostalgic

Read rest of poem 

 

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Christine Gosnay – It’s The Real Thing 

Underneath a sycamore tree I am sitting on a bench
dedicated by plaque to the memory of Ben Morgan, who
“Hated this park, and Everyone in it.”

Read rest of poem 

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Tarfia Faizullah – Your Own Palm

O, my daughter, once I was a poor boy
folding peppers into my sarong
to walk three miles to sell, but what
can you tell me of sorrow,
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Michelle Brittan Rosado – Poem to My Unborn Son the Morning after the Election

Since November began, the painters have been here
stirring their mixtures, preparing for the days ahead, laying down

the dark canvas around the grass perimeter outside.
First they papered the windows, so that in here when I wake

Read rest of poem 

~~~TRIBRACH~~~

Poetry Diary: Spending day cleaning my house. Found this poem…a good one to read for perspective, esp. after all of the recent devastation in Puerto Rico and other places. devastated by hurricanes. 

Kate Gale – Everyone Has a House

What I like about your country
she tells me is the toilets
I wouldn’t mind bringing one home
but it wouldn’t do much good
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ENTER THE NY TIMES TRUMP POETRY CONTEST

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Nicholas Kristof held a Trump Poetry Contest at the New York Times earlier this year that lead to the publication of Resistance, Rebellion, Life: 50 Poems Now. 

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He’s now teaming up with the Poetry Society of America to run a 2nd Trump Poetry Contest.

Announcing a Trump Poetry Contest – Nicholas Kristof – New York Times – 9/15/17

“No entry can be more than 22 lines. They can rhyme or not and can be haiku or sonnets or limericks or any other form — just no epics.

“One caution: The Times can’t publish vulgarities and profanities. The poems must be your work, and your submission means that you agree to let me publish them or excerpt them in The Times. Also, I’d like to make clear that whatever my politics, I welcome poems that defend President Trump or target the press. If you think we in the media are being unfair to a great president, rise to his defense in verse.”

“I plan to keep the contest open until Oct. 8, but don’t procrastinate. Each person can enter up to three poems. To enter, email your poems to contest@poetrysociety.org.”

What type of poem would Trump like to see on the Statue of Liberty?

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Huddled masses? Losers!Trump v the Statue of Liberty: A senior Trump advisor, Stephen Miller, sparked a furor last week when he dismissed the famous poem at the base of the Statue of Liberty. In response, we asked 21 poets: what type of poem would Trump like to see at the statue? – The Guardian

Melissa StuddardI Lift My Lamp

Salt-licked and split down the middle, divided by what I am
and what they think I can be: Woman with an ocean
in my breast, a nation in my sea. You’ve no idea the boats
I hold–the bitter jokes and hypocrisies. Body of lamplight, body
of shoreline, I welcome your risings and arrivals without degree.
Still. Bring your wretched, your poor, your disillusioned to me.

———-

Read more!!!!!

 

“Give me your wealthy, your rich, your huddled MBAs yearning to be tax free…”

Watch: Stephen Colbert rewrites the Statue of Liberty poem in tune with Trump’s immigration policyScroll.in – 8/8/17

“The poem on the Statue of Liberty needs an update, Colbert said, keeping in mind the Trump administration and its new take on immigration. ‘Give me your wealthy, your rich, your huddled MBAs yearning to be tax free. Send these – the English-speaking, fully insured – to me,’ he recited on the show. ‘I lift my lamp beside the golden door and lift my leg upon your filthy poor. PS: No fatties, please.’”

and see

The Poem on the Statue of Liberty Was ‘Added Later’ But There’s More to That Story – Olivia B. Waxman – Time – 8/2/17

“Originally, the meaning of the monument had more to do with the abolition of slavery than with immigration…..But, while the statue herself would be a gift, it would be up to Americans to raise money to construct the monument’s base….It was as a result of the need to fund the pedestal that Emma Lazarus was tapped to write the famous sonnet ‘The New Colossus’ for a Statue of Liberty fundraiser in 1883. Inspired by her work with Russian Jews detained by immigration officials on Ward Island, she included a new facet of liberty in her interpretation of what the statue could mean….”

“the sonnet on the Statue of Liberty was ‘added later’ and therefore, does not reflect American values towards immigrants.”

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Stephen Miller attacks Statue of Liberty poem, echoing popular white nationalist talking point – Rebekah Entralgo – Think Progress – August 2, 2017

“At Wednesday’s White House press briefing, White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller was pressed on whether Trump’s new immigration policy was in keeping with the spirit of the poem inscribed at the base of Statute of Liberty.

‘Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.’

“The Trump administration’s new immigration bill, as CNN’s Jim Acosta noted, favors ‘highly-skilled,’ English-speaking applicants.

“Miller became angry, replying that the sonnet on the Statue of Liberty was ‘added later’ and therefore, does not reflect American values towards immigrants.”

Is this poetry? “The Dems scream death as OCare dies!” 

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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.

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