First aired on Q (9/8/11)
When the Alaska government finally released that trove of Sarah Palin emails in June, there was a frenzied race to find something new and scandalous.
But, despite 25,000 pages of correspondence and the efforts of hordes of journalists and bloggers, the general conclusion was that there were no surprises. The emails pretty much just confirmed what we already knew about the controversial former governor of Alaska.
However, one reader found something completely unexpected in the Sarah Palin e-mails: poetry! After sifting through the thousands of pages of emails, Michael Solomon emerged with a complete collection of poems. I Hope Like Heck: The Selected Poems of Sarah Palin covers topics near and dear to Palin's heart, including hunting, Alaska, religion, money and more, in her unique way with words.
Solomon claims that finding poetry in Palin's words was pretty easy. In fact, he found more than 50 poems in the first two days of reading emails. "Immediately, I was looking for the beauty in her language and not the scandal," Solomon told Q summer host Jully Black in a recent interview. "We know that she has colourful language and that's what we look for in poetry."
Her language has often made her a target for parody. Solomon acknowledges that "she makes up words" and that "the more you get into her language, you realize it's often incomprehensible," but argues that we shouldn't discount the 2008 Republican vice-presidential candidate. After all, other political punching bags, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, were two-term presidents. And Palin doesn't seem to be stopping any time soon.
"The public is watching her, reporters are listening to her, and Sarah Palin has made herself relevant for the last three years," Solomon said. "The people who underestimate Sarah Palin do so at their own peril."
Is Palin poetry a harmless way to celebrate the colourful politician? Or does it only add fuel to the fire? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
I Hope Like Heck: The Selected Poems of Sarah Palin
by Michael SolomonBuy this book at:
"On June 10 2011 more than 24,000 pages of Sarah Palin's emails were released to the public. Discovered among this trove through the literary sleuthing of editor Michael Solomon was language that was clearly intended to be poetry. The result is 50 previously unpublished poems by Alaska's comedic bard. Writing on everything from moose hunting and beauty pageants to state politics and tanning beds I Hope Like Heck places the Belle of Wasilla in the poetic pantheon of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Emily Dickinson and Dr. Seuss. As Solomon writes in the foreword: 'Verse, like America, yearns to be free. Few twenty-first century poets understand this better than Sarah Palin. Not since Walt Whitman first heard America singing has a writer captured the hopes and dreams of her people so effortlessly and with so many gerunds."... Michael Solomon has done us all and Sarah Palin the great service of not looking for deeper meanings in her comments. By so doing he helps us appreciate them for what they truly are: a random collection of words."
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