Dead Poets Come Alive
to American Political Imbroglio
Verses! It's politics run amok!
In olden times it could be decades before major event were cast in verse. But the Great 2000 election controversy is so big that a bunch of all-star poets have come out of retirement to quickly set thestory to rhyme.
For starters, history buff Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:
Listen, my children, don't dare ignore,
The midnight actions of Bush and Gore
In early November, the year ought-ought,
Hard to believe the mess they wrought.
Two billion bucks of campaign bounty
All came down to Palm Beach County.
What result cold have been horrider
Than the situation we found in Florider?
Edgar Allen Poe is his usual gloomy self:
Once upon a campaign dreary, one which left us weak and weary
O'er many a quaint and curious promise of political lore
While we nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a yapping,
As of some votes overlapping, energy-zapping to the core
"Tis a mess here," we all muttered, as the network anchors stuttered,
Stuttered over Bush and Gore.
Could there be another election with such a case of misdirection,
yet fraught with tension to the core? Quoth the ravers, "Nevermore."
Britain's Edward Lear's limerick is lighter:
There once was a U. S. election
That called for some expert detection:
How thousands of pollers
Could become two holers
Like outhouses of recollection
Ditto Ogden Nash:
I regret to admit that all my knowledge is
What I learned at Electoral Colleges,
So tell me please, though I hate to troubya,
Will the winner be Al, or will it be Dubya?
Joyce Kilmer's a media analyst:
I thought that I would never see
The networks all so up a tree.
Walt Whitman is lyrical, as always:
O' Captain! My Captain! Our fearful trip's not done
The ship has weather'd every rack, but nobody knows who's won.
Alfred Noyes rhythmically rumbles:
And still of an autumn night they say, with the White House on the line,
When the campaign's a ghostly galleon and both candidates cry,
When the road is a ribbon of ballots, all within easy reach,
A highwayman comes riding, Riding, Riding,
A highwayman comes riding and punches two holes in each.
Dr. Seuss takes a look at election officials:
I cannot count them in a box
I cannot count them with a fox
I cannot count them by computer
I will not with a Roto-Rooter
I cannot count them card-by-card
I will not 'cause it's way too hard
I cannot count them on my fingers,
I will not while suspicion lingers.
I'll leave the country in a jam?
I can't count ballots, Sam-I-Am.
Clement Moore adopts a holiday theme:
'Twas the month before Christmas, when all through the courts,
all the plaintiffs made stirring bad ballot reports.
Which leaves the problem:
Perhaps the best way to stop complaints that are raucous is
Start over again, with the Iowa caucuses.
Then there's the . . . Top Ten Dumb Guys Ways To SolvePresidential Election Confusion:
10. Find some guy named George W. Gore. Make him President
9. Each can be president of the people who voted for them
8. Thaw out Walt Disney, let him cast the deciding vote
7. I don't care how things get solved; just don't run any special reports during "Becker"
6. Do what they do in other important contests in Floria: swimsuit competition
5. Form Conga line with everyone in Palm Beach (won't solve thing, but boy are they fun)
4. Whichever news anchor can stay awake the longest gets to pick
3. New rule: You punch 2 holes, voting booth explodes
2. Let my brother Jeb decide
1. Solve it? Are you nuts? This is great!
As presented on the November 13, 2000 broadcast of The Late Show with David Letterman
- courtesy of Sharie S. Meyer