Monday, December 14, 2009

Monday's Poetry: Obama Rising

by Pa Rock
Poetry Appreciator

I am sitting at the same keyboard where Calvin Trillin was parked and typing yesterday. To honor the significance of the proximity to greatness, tonight's selection will be a work by Mr. Trillin.

Trillin, a native of Kansas City, MO, is the "deadline poet" for The Nation, a proud literary position that he has held for nearly two decades. His unique talent is the ability to put politics into rhyming verse. This selection, "Obama Rising," recaptures his ascendancy into national politics and the Presidential race.

Obama Rising
by Calvin Trillin

Electrified is what they were, they say -
The Democrats in Boston on the day
A man with eloquence at his command
Had held the whole convention in his hand.
Their highest campaign moment in '04
Was when Barack Obama had the floor.
He spoke of getting past our old divides -
To form one nation, not just many sides.
He said together we'd heal every wound.
The crowd exploded. Why, they nearly swooned.
He hadn't made it to the Senate yet,
But, still, some delegates were moved to bet
That he was destined for the next top spot.
They mad such statements, Hillary or not.
When Kerry lost, the buzz did not abate.
Some said Barack could well afford to wait.
He had, they said, no end of times to run:
In twenty twelve he'd be but fifty-one.
According to a long-established tenet
He should mature for years yet in the Senate.
(Producing legislation at a trickle,
Some Senate members don't mature, they pickle.)
Obama, thinking time would not improve
The chance he had, resolved to make his move.
He went to Springfield, where he could invoke
The spirit of Abe Lincoln as he spoke
To thousands, cheering in the bitter cold.
He may have been by many fans extolled,
But pros said it was a long-shot bet
To think the nomination's what he'd get.
When faced with Clinton's powerful machine,
They said he might collapse, like Howard Dean.
Experience was what he seemed to lack.
And to be frank, they pointed out, he's black.

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