The following mélange of doggerel and political vapidity has been offered up by Maya Angelou — not in America, but in (and for) a British newspaper, The Observer. Perhaps this is due to the affection the current British Poet Laureate, Andrew Motion, seems to harbor for disposable “poetry.”
“With this kind of poem Angelou has decided to interpret public writing as a verbal equivalent of making a poster,” Mr. Motion is quoted as saying, “and there’s nothing wrong with this.”
Her work in this mode displays “vivid flourishes,” he says, and “big gestures.”
At least Vanessa Thorpe, the Arts and Media Correspondent responsible for the article that includes this “poster” hints at dissent when she reports, “It is not known how long Angelou spent writing the poem….”
I have inside information that employees who have entered The Observer’s office pool have posted estimates ranging from one minute to just under half an hour.
Hilariously, Angelou begins a defense of her recently launched line of greeting cards by saying, “If I’m America’s poet….”
The great advantage of print, of course, is that the evidence appears indelibly before our eyes — which means you may judge for yourself whether “America’s poet” has done her job well. If you feel the urge to shout “hallelujah” after reading this, I imagine you’ll find Mr. Motion’s work equally compelling (examples may be found here).
STATE PACKAGE FOR HILLARY CLINTON
by Maya Angelou
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
This is not the first time you have seen Hillary Clinton seemingly at her wits’ end, but she has always risen, always risen, don’t forget she has always risen, much to the dismay of her adversaries and the delight of her friends.
Hillary Clinton will not give up on you and all she asks of you is that you do not give up on her.
There is a world of difference between being a woman and being an old female. If you’re born a girl, grow up, and live long enough, you can become an old female. But to become a woman is a serious matter. A woman takes responsibility for the time she takes up and the space she occupies. Hillary Clinton is a woman. She has been there and done that and has still risen. She is in this race for the long haul. She intends to make a difference in our country. Hillary Clinton intends to help our country to be what it can become.
She declares she wants to see more smiles in the family, more courtesies between men and women, more honesty in the marketplace. She is the prayer of every woman and man who longs for fair play, healthy families, good schools, and a balanced economy.
She means to rise.
Don’t give up on Hillary. In fact, if you help her to rise, you will rise with her and help her make this country the wonderful, wonderful place where every man and every woman can live freely without sanctimonious piety and without crippling fear.