Sarah Palin's Poetry


Palin on PalinA realization just hit me like the explosion of a roman candle firing across the sky: Sarah Palin isn’t inarticulate; she’s a beat-style poet, extemporaneously constructing stream-of-consciousness, free-verse works of art during interviews. Consider this poem Palin rattled off in her recent interview with Katie Couric: 

This is crisis moment for America,
really the rest of the world also,
looking to see what the impacts will be,
if America were to choose not to shore up what has happened on Wall Street,
because of the ultimate adverse effects on Main Street
(and then how that affects this globalization that we’re a part of in our world)
so the rest of the world really is looking at John McCain:
the leadership that he’s going to provide through this,
and if those provisions in the proposal can be implemented
and make this proposal better—
make it 
          make more sense 
                    to taxpayers 
                              then again,
John McCain is going to prove his leadership.

Now compare that to the beginning of Howl by Allen Ginsberg:

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by
madness, starving hysterical naked,
dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn
looking for an angry fix,
angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly
connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night,
who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat
up smoking in the supernatural darkness of
cold-water flats floating across the tops of cities
contemplating jazz,

Or this quote from the same Sarah Palin interview:

But ultimately, what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the healthcare reform that is needed to help shore up our economy, helping the, it’s got to be all about job creation, too: shoring up our economy, and putting it back on the right track, so healthcare reform and reducing taxes and reining in spending has got to accompany tax reductions and tax relief, for Americans, and trade—we’ve got to see trade as opportunity, not as a competitive, scary thing, but one in five jobs being created in the trade sector today, we’ve got to look at that more as more opportunity—all those things under the umbrella of job creation, this bailout is a part of that.

10/6/2008 11:02:37 PM

PALIN by Donna Williams, copyright Oct 2008 PALIN by Donna Williams, copyright Oct 2008 Cutsey wootsey, poopsy poo, Well ain’t I cute? Ya’ll like my do? I’ll portray Putin as a snake, But slither when you prove me fake. On tap I’ve piles of rhetoric, Say all the key words, laid on thick. Throw in some guns and the moose I shoot, Throw in my son with Down’s to boot. The potential rape of my own daughter? No, abortionists straight to the slaughter! Women’s bodies are of God’s creation, But I’ll prove it too through legislation. To fight I’d never use my fists I’d merely call you ‘terrorists’. I’ll hold God’s will in my manicured hand, I’ll spread his will through Arab land. I’ll send our youth to God’s own war. I’ll also give Homos what for. I’m more righteous than that Taliban. Just vote me in, you’ll understand.

Ann Weber
10/6/2008 2:24:15 PM

This is an addendum to my last comment. Someone just emailed me some Sarah Palin "poetry" from Slate. Their approach is amusing and makes no "literary" comparisons. It is clear that the person who arranged those lines has a good sense of language. You should check it out.

Ann Weber
10/6/2008 2:17:36 PM

This is the most ridiculous comparison I can think of. If you aren't able to see the difference between these two beautifully coherent passages from Ginsburg and Kerouac and the Sarah Palin gibberish you say sounds like it, then your command of language is not much better than Sarah Palin's. I'm assuming that you mean this exercise as some kind of satire, but the response to it shows people taking it seriously. George Orwell once said something to the effect that the lack of attention to language will bring about the downfall of democracy. I can see that happening in front of my eyes as this campaign rolls on. I recently lost faith in Utne and canceled my subscription. This article reinforces my decision.

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