Tuesday, June 07, 2011

The Much-Revered Sarah Palin

Listen my children, and then discuss
The stupidity found in the Palin bus
At the end of May, and beginning of June,
A visit we can’t forget too soon
That the media types force-fed to us.

She said to supporters gathered there
In folksy phrases, full of charm,
“You patriots are all aware
That Paul Revere, he gave that alarm
By ringin’ that bell, and shootin’ that gun,
That red-blooded patriots weren’t gonna run
He was ready to ride to keep us free
And tell them all ‘don’t tread on me’
So, one if by land, and two if by sea”

Reporters there were heard to say
They hadn’t learned it quite that way
As writers, some were English-lit-ish
And questioned if he’d warned the British
Who were, of course, the enemy,
Invading us—by land or sea—
So Sarah missed a thing or three
Her more important task that night
Was “make the news”, not “get it right.”

Meanwhile, her teabag friend Michele
While touring in the Granite State
A fortnight sooner to this date
(Well, give or take a day or two)
Was misconstruing facts as well
Her “shot heard round the world” was great
New Hampshire, though, was heard to boo.

The Concord where the shot was fired
“Heard round the world,” you may recall
Was not New Hampshire’s town at all,
Thus not the one where she was mired.
It seems there may be no Repubs
Who haven’t uttered stupid flubs
Their grasp, it seems, of history
Is battered, bruised, and blistery,
And why they’re on the public stage
In this enlightened day and age
Is more or less a mystery

Reader Kathie has alerted me (and so, I alert you) to a bit of versical fun at the Washington Post. You are invited to submit your own poems, honoring those there great patriot types, Paul Revere and Sarah Palin.

For a while, I considered writing a verse the length of the original. Then, I slapped myself in the forehead and scolded myself for contemplating such a waste of time. But hey, maybe I'll add on to what I have here. When I'm all caught up with more important things, like alphabetizing my socks.


Anonymous said...

The one good thing about this whole episode is that it led me to revisit Longfellow's original.

The opening lines -- the only ones most people remember -- are kind of stilted and awful in a "Tay Bridge Disaster" kind of way. But the middle is full of wonderful Gothic/Late Romantic imagery, what with the moonless skies and the sleeping dead in the churchyard as witnesses.

Maybe I should try my hand at a pastiche.

Something mordant, I think:

Listen, my children, and you shall hear
Of the passing of things that we once held dear
Integrity, Knowledge, Courage and Facts
All of whom fell to the headsman's axe
Wielded by Greed and Fear.

This could take a while . . .

Cuttlefish said...

Do it! Excellent approach--and no better time than while they are looking for such verses!

Anonymous said...

"For a while, I considered writing a verse the length of the original."

You should post the last seven lines. They're enough. ;)

Anonymous said...

Oh, man. Longfellow's prosody is giving me fits. I keep trying to regularize it and make it singable.

I can't decide if he's beyond my skill, a product of his time, or not actually very good.

How I wish it were in trochees like the Song of Hiawatha, where the meter is consistent and the parody is easy.

(Now I notice "Sarah Palin" is a simple pair of trochees, and I wish she had misspoken on the shores of Gitche Gumee, of the people who once lived there, and the reason they are not there, but instead she blew the story of the ride of Paul Revere where she had traveled in her tour bus just to be again on TV.)

Anonymous said...

Oh my God, this is addictive, like the chocolate milk from Hershey's, or those shrimp chips from the Asian store you purchased as a joke.

(Wiki tells me that the Song of Hiawatha started turning folks to pastiche well before the epic ever hit the presses. It was Carroll [i.e. Dodgson] who first hit upon the conceit of producing his comedic take in form of standard prose.)

Cuttlefish said...

Addictive? Heh... welcome to my world.

Anonymous said...

Cuttlefish, as an early adopter of Usenet/Internet/blogs, I suffered through years of crappy "komedy" verse written by morons with no sense of prosody or meter. I will gladly be your satellite, if you welcome me to your world.

Anonymous said...

Ha! I love it. Well done.