Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The next US President may also be a closet poet

Closet poet or not, my guess is that Barack Obama will do more to promote poetry than has been seen during the past eight years.  As we have already noted during the campaign, his command of rhetoric is impressive.  Steven Barrie Anthony at the Huffington Post reported on Obama's youthful  poetry (March 2007), reproducing copies of the poems.   In Rebecca Mead's "Obama, Poet" in The New Yorker (July 2, 2007), Harold Bloom was asked for an opinion of Obama's early efforts.  He compared "Pop" to Langston Hughes "who tended to imitate Carl Sandburg."  Bloom did not take the word "shink" in the body of the poem to be a typo, but rather a verb expressing very strong emotion.  Regarding "Underground," Bloom compared it to D.H. Lawrence's "Snake."

Other links
Ian McMillan, "The Lyrical Democrat," The Guardian (March 29, 2007).