This book of satirical poems analyzes America's currently dysfunctional political landscape, taking no prisoners along the way.
Groucho Marx once quipped: "My favorite poem is the one that starts 'Thirty days hath September' because it actually tells you something."
An observation by English poet Adrian Mitchell puts Groucho's view into clearer focus. "Most people ignore most poetry," said Mitchell, "because most poetry ignores most people."
Which bring us to the aim of this book of poems, a book on which I'm putting the finishing touches, and for which I'm asking your support. It actually has something very specific to tell. Something most Americans can't ignore — that the current politics of the United States stink.
Like all authors, I hope my book reaches a great many people. But it has another purpose as well. In promoting it, I will reach out to Op Ed pages and opinion shaping media of all kinds to get across the message that poetry should be a regular, an ongoing part of their commentary and analysis. I will also reach out to poetry organizations, publications, websites, etc. to encourage their own base to contact these opinion shapers demanding a place.
Poetry has a magnificent potential to describe political doings and players in ways that are poignant, powerful and memorable. For too long this voice has not spoken in places where the opinions of many are molded, and where policy makers go to learn.
Poets may never again become what Shelley called "legislators of the world." But they have had a meaningful political voice for most of the world's history. It's now time to put poetry back on the political center stage on these shores.
The hundred-plus poems in my own book, tentatively titled This God-Awful Political Season (In Verse) — a book designed and illustrated by Kay Wood — come in a variety of forms. Sonnets, limericks, ballads, epigrams, haiku, and the occasional updated nursery rhyme. Some of these poems are angry, but most are satirical, expressing a kind of astonishment that we've allowed matters in this country to get so badly out of whack.
Though my personal political preferences lean left, no party or ideological fringe is spared in its pages. All are tried and virtually all found guilty. Here's a link to the book's presently planned Table Of Contents. And here's a link to a few poems that will appear in the book.
Rhyme, rather than free verse, is my chosen poetic form. While really good free verse is often the very best poetry, what I find so appealing about rhyming poetry is that it's memorable. Indeed, rhyme doesn't even have to be good to be remembered.
The average educated middle aged American has probably read hundreds of Op Ed pieces written in prose over the years, and can't remember a single opening sentence from any of them. This same person was probably forced to memorize Joyce Kilmer's cloying arboreal tribute "Trees" in grammar school, and decades later, try as he or she might, can't erase from consciousness its final rhyming couplet: "Poems are made by fools like me/But only God can make a tree."
I've been lucky with the reception to my own rhyming poetry. It has run or been profiled in scores of publications including USA Today, The Economist, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, et. al. Here's some reviews of it in various major media, Reviews.
Thank you for your support of this project. And even if you don't support it directly, you might perhaps email your own favorite opinion shaping media and tell them you want them to employ poetic commentary and analysis as well as prose. Here's an essay I wrote on this theme that you might find interesting.
Cheers from Philly,
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Funding Unsuccessful This project reached the deadline without achieving its funding goal on February 3, 2012.
Dec 5, 2011 - Feb 3, 2012 (60 days)
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Contributors get our sincere thanks for their support of this project.Estimated delivery: Apr 2012
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Contributors receive a 20-page chapbook of selected Silverstein political verse.Estimated delivery: Apr 2012
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Contributors receive a copy of this chapbook signed by the author.Estimated delivery: Apr 2012
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Contributors receive a copy of This God-Awful Political Season (In Verse).Estimated delivery: Apr 2012
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Contributors receive a copy of This God-Awful Political Season (In Verse) signed by the author, plus a copy of the author's well reviewed 132-page Street Verse (80 new poems for befuddled investors).Estimated delivery: Apr 2012
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Contributors receive the same as for $50 pledges plus a 15-minute phone chat with the author at a time and on a subject of your choosing.Estimated delivery: Apr 2012
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Contributors receive the same as for $100 pledges plus a new sonnet written for you by this author on the political subject of your choice.Estimated delivery: Apr 2012