Day 11: What rhymes with “Bread and Circuses”?

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January 11, 2012 by Alex Hoekstra

Politics is tiresome.  Left, right, center, above or below, politics knots itself into our world whether we like it or not.  We can’t really escape it any longer.  Even when I do my best to avoid political “news” and opinion broadcasts, it’s hard not to get caught up in somebody else’s personal political campaign.

I don’t know if politics has always been so ugly – I can’t remember a time when I looked upon it favorably (outside of perhaps one of the greatest [fictional] TV shows of all time), and in truth, there are a few glimmering lights in the murky waters of political discourse, but I believe today’s project will become a fresh way to approach a jaded subject.

Poetry in politics is rare.  At least as far as I’ve been able to tell.  To me, the idea of spinning senseless acts of doublespeak and political absurdity into finely-crafted prose is akin to one of my other favorite forms of political expression: cartoons.

Michael Silverstein is looking to compose a book of 100 poems that revolve around the political arena and offer a new way to address national issues and events.

Silverstein has a blog where you can check out some of his already-published political poetry and hear what he has to say about the importance of verse in the media.

There is a power in poetry that even the greatest prose lacks. It is a power linked to the way our minds retain the magical flow of great verse. Readers here have probably read or heard thousands of editorials and prose verbal arguments over the years, and can’t repeat a single line of any of them verbatim, but can recall perfectly lines of poetry learned in high school.

Help him make his goal of $1,500 by ordering your copy of “This God-Awful Political Season (In Verse) by February 3.


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