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State of the Union: Fifty Political Poems

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From rough optimism to sharp criticism, fifty American poets present new work dissecting the current political climate in America. Wide-ranging writers bring their bold voices to this collection, including Eileen Myles, Matthew Rohrer, Rebecca Wolff, Terrance Hayes, Joe Wenderoth, and Tao Lin. “Walking by Hope Street” Look at the landscape, A lot of damage, no? But we are here From rough optimism to sharp criticism, fifty American poets present new work dissecting the current political climate in America. Wide-ranging writers bring their bold voices to this collection, including Eileen Myles, Matthew Rohrer, Rebecca Wolff, Terrance Hayes, Joe Wenderoth, and Tao Lin. “Walking by Hope Street” Look at the landscape, A lot of damage, no? But we are here together, And of needing me, here The world needs me, We are too alone. And what of our orange daylight, Growing darker as the lamplit Trees grow dark. There Is not enough to say. But our hands, our gentle Frozen hands sift through Things like numbers out of breath. It will all be okay, I promise. Promise who? Promise the faded land. —Noelle Kocot “Literary Agency” Coretta Scott King has died, the other day. Dream unrealized. Lost and found, lost again, bathos my motivation my Elysian dream. The place inside untutored, incorruptible, without relation. That’s something to hold onto, and uncontingency dressing the wound. That’s sad and just “what it is.” It is what it is. That’s what I say when I can’t bear the news. —Rebecca Wolff


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From rough optimism to sharp criticism, fifty American poets present new work dissecting the current political climate in America. Wide-ranging writers bring their bold voices to this collection, including Eileen Myles, Matthew Rohrer, Rebecca Wolff, Terrance Hayes, Joe Wenderoth, and Tao Lin. “Walking by Hope Street” Look at the landscape, A lot of damage, no? But we are here From rough optimism to sharp criticism, fifty American poets present new work dissecting the current political climate in America. Wide-ranging writers bring their bold voices to this collection, including Eileen Myles, Matthew Rohrer, Rebecca Wolff, Terrance Hayes, Joe Wenderoth, and Tao Lin. “Walking by Hope Street” Look at the landscape, A lot of damage, no? But we are here together, And of needing me, here The world needs me, We are too alone. And what of our orange daylight, Growing darker as the lamplit Trees grow dark. There Is not enough to say. But our hands, our gentle Frozen hands sift through Things like numbers out of breath. It will all be okay, I promise. Promise who? Promise the faded land. —Noelle Kocot “Literary Agency” Coretta Scott King has died, the other day. Dream unrealized. Lost and found, lost again, bathos my motivation my Elysian dream. The place inside untutored, incorruptible, without relation. That’s something to hold onto, and uncontingency dressing the wound. That’s sad and just “what it is.” It is what it is. That’s what I say when I can’t bear the news. —Rebecca Wolff

30 review for State of the Union: Fifty Political Poems

  1. 4 out of 5

    Shelley

    I was hoping this book of 50 poems, published in 2008, would still be relevant in our current political times of 2017. Unfortunately, only six of them seemed worth remembering. And I doubt I would have appreciated any of the other poems in 2008. The six noteworthy ones are timeless. The others, just not great poems in general. I suspect the editors had a hard time finding really good political poems and this book is slim as it is. If they had edited out all the bad ones, it would have been a pam I was hoping this book of 50 poems, published in 2008, would still be relevant in our current political times of 2017. Unfortunately, only six of them seemed worth remembering. And I doubt I would have appreciated any of the other poems in 2008. The six noteworthy ones are timeless. The others, just not great poems in general. I suspect the editors had a hard time finding really good political poems and this book is slim as it is. If they had edited out all the bad ones, it would have been a pamphlet. The six poems I appreciated are: Tsunami Chant by Wang Ping, For Thom Gunn by Garrett Caples, September Song by Lucille Clifton, A Citizen by Don Bogen, This by Michael Palmer, and War of Wars by Wanda Coleman. If you can find these poems individually, you can save yourself the price of the book.

  2. 5 out of 5

    C.A.

    Here's a HANDSOME book! Just in time for the three-legged race to the White House, now that the candidates have their back-up singers, and the burlap bags are paid in full. But I will only vote for the gayest candidate, so, I know EXACTLY who I'm voting for, as you can imagine! Gay sex WILL save the world, I PROMISE! I'm working on it! But I do wish Eileen Myles was running for president again this year. Yeah I know Jimmy Carter is a poet, and I LOVE Jimmy (the gayest of them all!), but Eileen had Here's a HANDSOME book! Just in time for the three-legged race to the White House, now that the candidates have their back-up singers, and the burlap bags are paid in full. But I will only vote for the gayest candidate, so, I know EXACTLY who I'm voting for, as you can imagine! Gay sex WILL save the world, I PROMISE! I'm working on it! But I do wish Eileen Myles was running for president again this year. Yeah I know Jimmy Carter is a poet, and I LOVE Jimmy (the gayest of them all!), but Eileen had some beautiful poems to write at the Oval Office desk. Although her poem in this anthology "TO HELL," might not have been written if she had to deal with cleaning up after the liars: "We can't think it's so wonderful, being lied to for years We've accomplished bright cynicism, then struggle for love We flounder, we fail, the elephant eliminates the confusions of love. Love probably didn't need a war, couldn't eat, is rolling on waves today" And poems like Fanny Howe's "THE LONG WRONG" ring and ring and itch the ear long LONG in the wrong, in your ear, long LONG after reading: "so if some still believe that the cold-blooded alone are responsible for this power how will they show that it came from elsewhere" Anselm Berrigan, Tao Lin, Richard Siken, so many others, well, obviously, since there are 50 poets in total. This is a link to an interview with the two editors Zapruder and Beckman: http://www.omnivoracious.com/2008/09/... It's GREAT to see an anthology not afraid of overt political content, not afraid of saying it's political. If the world were any safer we might need to apologize. And of course I think this anthology is pretty cool ALSO because I have a poem in it! Here's a link to that poem: http://thedearmrpresidentpoem.blogspo... While all the poems in this anthology are very different, the one thing, the most powerful thing in common, is the result in saying prayer just isn't going to cut it. Poets at work in the world are the screen that keeps the sparks from the fireplace from burning down your little log cabin. CAConrad http://CAConrad.blogspot.com

  3. 4 out of 5

    Edward Moore

    Good collection. Especially likes "The War of Wars" by Wanda Coleman, "Dove" by Caroline Knox, and "A Citizen" by Don Bogen. The latter has an excellent historical view of America today. Not an uplifting book, really, but it presents a fine variety of pets.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Daniela

    My favorite poets writing my favorite kind(s) of poems. And...nothing special happened. Maybe it's my fault; maybe my expectations were too high. To quote from Dan Chelotti's contribution to the book, "Why aren't you the bomb/that I want you to be?"

  5. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia Manick

    There was some interesting poems in this collection. The poems range from serious to the lighthearted, so its worth a read. I do have to give a special mention to C.A. Conrad's poem, "Dear Mr. President There Was An Eggshell Under Your Desk Last Night In My Dream." Everyone should read it.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Steven

    I will have a review of this book forthcoming on Galatea Resurrects so I'll post the link once it's up.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Greg Bem

    My head responded with an agony like twine: wrapped and cutting of circulation, forced to feel texture and structure and force all at once.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Katie TerBush

    Some poems were a little weird but the majority were deeply moving and really captured the attitudes and spirits of the US.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Biscuits

    Exactly what it is

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ana

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lizzie

  12. 5 out of 5

    Mark Babcock

  13. 5 out of 5

    Val

  14. 5 out of 5

    Garyrayparrish

  15. 4 out of 5

    Anna

  16. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

  17. 5 out of 5

    Calvin

  18. 4 out of 5

    David Lee

  19. 5 out of 5

    Erica Wright

  20. 4 out of 5

    Caroline Gerardo

  21. 5 out of 5

    David

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lewis

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kristin Bock

  24. 4 out of 5

    Cassandra Gillig

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sandy

  26. 5 out of 5

    Timothy

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Courtwright

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Magruder

  29. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

  30. 4 out of 5

    Joshua

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