Friday, November 27, 2009

The Poetry and Prose of Sarah Palin

There have been tons of interesting posts and discussions at THRUST these past three months but one topic no one has tackled is that tricky subject of politics in literature. With Arnold Schwarzenegger's acrostic poem making headlines in California, however, I thought it was high time to look at the poetry in the prose of Sarah Palin. Besides being able to hone her international diplomacy skills, Sarah Palin has learned a great deal by living next to Canada. One of the most valuable of these lessons is that our most cherished authors began their careers writing poetry before they made the move to prose. Leonard Cohen, George Bowering, Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje and countless others all chose to alembicate the rough currents of consciousness into distilled verse before embarking on lengthy novels. Foregoing the ephemeral reality of "news" in "newspapers", Sarah Palin chose to study something far more eternal, taking a page from the careers of these Canadian writers. Shhhhhh! Let's listen carefully as we approach one of her poems:

"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)

From here it's not too far a leap to a more prosaic success (I mean success in prose) One of the most celebratory and illuminating articles on Sarah Palin's new book, Going Rogue, can be found at Alternet. I recommend this article highly. (Does a hyperlink need a recommendation? I mean it's easy, you just click there. But will you do it? Therein lies the tangent. Along these words. Am I starting to sound like a Sarah Palin poem?)

Palin reciting "Befoulers of the Verbiage:

1 comment:

  1. I get it now. It's not that she's incoherent, it's just that we needed to add line breaks. The other poems in that Slate article are also pretty amazing. Check out "On the Bailout" and "On Reporters." Such depth. Such emotion.