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Showing posts from January, 2017

A BRIEF ESSAY ON BEING YOUNG AND AMERICAN IN THE TIME OF TRUMP BY STEVEN TIMBERMAN

The Cavalry
As the early results curdle, I text my father three words - This Is Bad. Like thousands of others, I’ve spent the last year volunteering and working to elect Hillary Clinton. The long fight. The good fight. The first fight I’ve truly thrown myself into, again and again. Election Night finds me in southern Virginia, a ramshackle campaign office held together by duct tape, off-white cracked paint, and five other community organizers. Growing up, the evening news was my family’s sacred time. Six years old, I watch a Palestinian child dive behind wreckage as gunfire crackles. Peter Jennings’ lullaby voice informs us that the child is unaccounted for. My father responds to my text with two words - I know.
Hour ago a packed office, trusty volunteers using an auto-dialer to rapid fire call as many inconsistent voters as we can. After polls close in Virginia, volunteers shuffle out. Well-wishes. Hugs. These aren’t my volunteers. My volunteer team is two hours to the east, forty plu…

AS IF CATULLUS COULD RESPOND TO PRESIDENT TRUMP - NEW POEM BY ERIC SIGLER, AMERICAN POET AND SATIRIST

Inaugural Occasional Poem: The White House
Casting Couch Is Visited By Zeus as Golden Rain
BY THE AMERICAN POET AND SATIRIST ERIC SIGLER

I
I thought I saw a smoke screen or a cloud
descend through spears that rallied at the sky,
and railed against the theme -
four years beneath a shroud-
until I woke to see that, in my eye,
I could not emancipate the dream 
from shackles chained to starlight -
a strident stalker wading through the night,
an endless specter searching for a theme....


II
But then I saw sun's gilded feet retreat - 
high-heeled hopes broken by the darkness,

STRANGER, BABY by EMILY BERRY - brief essay by TODD SWIFT

TODD SWIFT ON
STRANGER, BABY
BY EMILY BERRY (FABER, 2017)

"ANXIETIES OF INFLUENCE, THE CONFLUENCE OF POETIC RESPONSES TO BEREAVEMENT"

I hesitate to call this a review - it isn't - it's an appreciation, and a comment. I should say that I think Stranger, Baby by Emily Berryis one of the best books of British poetry you are likely to read in 2017; and that it seems to me to be at once better, and slightly less good, than its predecessor, Berry's feted debut, Dear Boy, whose title similarly played on various meanings. I once was Berry's "poetry tutor" - for several key years in the now-famed MAIDA VALE GROUP I ran through the POETRY SCHOOL - other members included Liz Berry, Helen Mort and Phil Brown. I recall seeing almost all the poems in Dear Boy in early stages.

I have seen none from this new manuscript, though I predicted, even urged it to appear, in my several reviews/essays on Dear Boy, where I said (also in private conversation) that Berry needed t…