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Political Poetry Challenge

plum smugglersI was listening to a podcast of This American Life on the way home from work today and Act II featured a poem by William Carlos Williams that described the perfect non-apology apology. Here’s the poem:

This Is Just To Say

by William Carlos Williams

This is just to say
I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

This poem has been the template for spoofs. Its framework is malleable and is easily customized to suit a wide variety of themes. So, I thought we could give it a try tonight while we sip our cocktails. Here’s my first attempt:

This is just to say
That I swiped
all your voters
in North Carolina

you were probably
hoping to use them
to pad your
delegate count

Forgive me
they were clingy
So bitter
and ballistic

Now you try.

43 Responses

  1. Whoo-hoo! popping the cork has a completely different meaning at my house. Someone’s getting laid on Tuesday.

  2. The nomination
    that Pelosi
    promised you

    which Michelle
    was keeping
    her anger in
    control for

    Forgive me
    victory was
    so catholic
    so democratic

  3. Dang, Honora! That’s a deep one.

  4. RD– My kissy lips turns 50 on Primary Tuesday. I am planning a big celebration and Hillary insuring the nomination will be the icing on the cake!!!

  5. This is just to say

    I have gobbled
    the stories
    that you hoped
    no one would read.

    Stories of voters
    and shaking off
    their blinders.

    Forgive me.
    Reading them was
    so delicious
    and so comforting.

  6. Ode to TheOne

    tuesday is
    not so far away
    from now

    and which
    you are probably
    to see

    forgive us when
    we’ll then
    so sweetly ask
    hoosier daddy?

  7. Kathleen Hall Jamison on Bill Moyers’ Journal (after opening segment when Moyers tries to explain and justify Rev. Wright’s speech at the National Press Club) discussing campaigns. Talking about how Reagan rescued himself from charge of scary extremist by running bio ad over and over and over.

    What Obama trying to do now–sitting down in quiet, rational manner with female reporters to explain his life. Trying to associate himself with the quiet, discoursive Wright of Wright’s appearance on Moyers’ Journal last Friday. Thoughtful and reassuring, identifying himself as civil rights lawyer. Remind people of ’04 Convention speech, bring people back to their first exposure to Obama.

    Sen. Clinton went on O’Reilly Factor, which Obama could not have done and meet his goals of appearing as thoughtful and nonconfrontational. Hillary’s doing something very different — went on most adversarial news channel toward her with most adversarial person there. She featured toughness, command of answers and mastery of detail, experienced enough to handle O’Reilly and handle the presidency. Showcased both’s strengths.

    KHJ said this year voters are becoming information seekers; they hear about appearances of candidates and take time to watch/listen. will channel surf to places where the interesting candidates are, plus candidate also reaching regular viewers. Looking for extended time format which gives time to make case, away from soundbites. Breaking out of ideological enclave, appeal across party lines.

    “Just folks” appeal — pols always try to make connection with those less well off than they are.

    Noting disappearance of Iraq Waq as issue.

    Best ads have grounding in actual performance in past, which gives credibility to proposals being made for future.

    Elizabeth Edwards on news scene — bcz media want her to make an endorsement, along with her husband doing so as well. Her comments on McCain’s healthcare proposal more powerful than any politician’s right now; McCain offered change to his plan, now has response to preexisting conditions, but KHJ didn’t specify what it was. (I missed that, last Tuesday; Moyers was surprised as well.)

    Pushing back against the notion that his plan would make it difficult for those with preexisting conditions to find an insurance provider on the open market, McCain said he would work with states to establish Guaranteed Access Plans — even proposing a government-funded GAP.

    Meh. Doesn’t sound that great to me.
    http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/a…/29/ 956979.aspx

  8. Great! “Hoosier daddy” made me LOL. All so good, I envy your wit.

  9. Goodbye Barack

    This is just to say
    that we have had it
    with your

    and your
    assortment of
    Chicago pals.

    Forgive us
    we’re voting Hillary.
    Just go eat your
    waffles now.

  10. Latest and greatest on the Kantor clip-job. Jake Tapper has obtained and authenticated the Pennebaker transcript.

    Not only did Kantor NOT insult the people of Indiana — the sound clip as propagated on YouTube very evidently WAS doctored.

    The actual phrase was “How would you like to be… Look at Texas, go down to Texas” — not anything that could be heard as “How would you like to get beaten by those white n***ers”.

  11. Campbell Brown and Anderson Cooper both covered the doctored video story. I’m in shock.

  12. You never saw her coming,
    The Lady on the rise.
    You thought you had her beaten,
    Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!

    They heaped the praise upon you,
    The One Who promised change.
    You wanted her to leave at last
    So you could claim the stage.

    But Annie Oakly caught up,
    Something you could not control.
    And here She is advancing,
    She’s really on a roll!

    You tried to make her wicked.
    You tried to make her quit.
    And when that Lady didn’t,
    You through a hissy fit.

    To all your friends and allies,
    As the scales begin to fall.
    Just wait until this Tuesday comes
    So she can show you all.

    It’s not about the Lady.
    It’s not about The One.
    It’s all about the rest of us
    Who want to get things done!

  13. Oh no….poetry flashbacks….ptsd of a sort, so while I love WCW, somehow I segued to TSE and flashed on the end of The Hollow Men…

    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    Not which a bang but a whimper.

    Perhaps hoping the end of the politics of hope is that painless…bloodless

    But I doubt it
    And so with Paul Desmond I’ll
    Face the news
    And wail the blues

    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    Not with a whim but a banker.

    Sorry, friends…I shouldn’t have had that second (or was it third?) martini…

  14. Charles: the cyclists are “plum smugglers”. Plums. Get it? Ehhh, ok maybe it was just stupid..

  15. Missed the NC J-J on CSPAN, but I hear the Obamites were jerks.

    Who woulda thought? 😉

  16. Elizabeth Taylor endorses Hillary:

    … She’s a brilliant teacher and powerful leader. We all know what she’s about. We know what she isn’t. Senator Clinton is not a flibbertijibbet. She’s strong. It’s also important for great leaders to have a sense of humor about themselves. …

    “Flibbertigibbet” – who’s up for working that into a rhyme scheme?

  17. Found this link in TM message boards. It is a post detailing the caucus fraud in Texas. Please read it. The author seems to have documented evidence:


  18. “plum smugglers”

    That gives a new meaning to “plumage”

  19. RD: if you’re still here. Lambert wants to substitute “wankfest” for haka. Although it was my suggestion, I prefer “wanka” because it incorporates “wank” and “haka” and it’s totally new.

    Actually, I would stick with haka. Please express your opinion at Correntewire.

  20. No no no no, please stick to “haka.” It’s particular and specific, that’s what makes it great! the entire Internets is a wankfest, that is nothing new.

  21. myiq2xu: Call me old-fashioned but I like haka. It’s short and to the point. Other than the definition, it needs no further explanation of some complicated portmanteau.

    I have made my feelings known on the subject at corrente. Haka is my choice.

    But I’m totally cool with Molly Dance for the Obamaphiles. 😉

  22. Charles: I’m not surprised.

  23. Charles: Just funnin’ you. I guess if you’ve ever been to Europe and seen middle aged guys in teeny-tiny speedos the term would be immediately recognizable.

  24. Great poetry folks- I was having a little rhyme fest over at my blog today- working from Pat racimora’s dog cartoon- which- if you have not seen it- you can see at No Quarter of my blog- Anyway- it goes to the tune of “This old man” the children’s counting song-(i know- dating myself- but when I saw the cartoon I just couldn’t stop myself!) Here’s the first verse

    This old man he played one, Obama’s plans have come undone-

    With a knick-knack paddy whack, give a dog a bone, this old man came rolling home.

    If you want a laugh or have suggestions for improvements- visit and leave comments


  25. This old man he played one, Obama’s plans have come undone-

    With a knick-knack paddy whack, give a dog a bone, this old man came rolling home.

    I posted the rest at my blog- and I had a longer comment here- but I think I got caught in the spam filter- somebody let me out!!! Please????

  26. In other news you might have missed this week, Barbara Walters disclosed an affair some 30 years back with African-American Republican Senator Ed Brooke.

    Nobody cared.

  27. ronk: you make her sound like Eleanor Rigby.
    I guess it would have been more shocking and sensational if she had disclosed this 30 years ago when she was still the diva of the davenport on the Today Show.

  28. Totally OT, but I have a security camera that shows the front of my home and my car, but right now a spider is building a web right in front of the lens.

    It looks like a giant movie spider. Okay, I’m a couple sheets to the wind, but it’s still wicked to watch.

  29. Perez Hilton cared, but not that much

  30. Shelob!

  31. myiq2xu, cool — it sounds fun.

  32. This is just to say,

    I have turned
    off your speech
    It went on
    too long

    One more
    “Yes, we can”
    And I would have
    just screamed

    Forgive me,
    but you’re boring,
    You say everything
    And nothing

  33. this is just to say

    i scribbled on the picture
    of you
    in my newspaper

    that you probably
    liked because
    you looked
    so appealing
    and genuine

    forgive me.
    i don’t trust a man
    who smiles like that
    while he’s cheating.

  34. This is just to say,


    No more
    No less
    Not no
    Not yes

    Forgive us
    for we know
    exactly what we do
    And why,

  35. A little Seussical

    Can we have debates Uncle Sam?
    Hillary says yes, yes, we can.
    But Barack says no, Uncle Sam.
    No to debates about his plans.

    He would not like them here or there.
    He would not like them anywhere.
    Not Indiana nor Oregon
    Not anywhere under the sun..

    Would he? Could he? Debate Iraq?
    Or economics? Not Barack.
    I am willing, says Hillary.
    I am willing, to let all see..
    my grasp of details, issues galore.
    And why and who and what I’m for.

    But how to learn about his plans?
    Check his website, Uncle Sam.
    Don’t look to him, for he’d prefer
    to talk of hope and change and her.
    But McCain will surely, Uncle Sam?
    Oh yes, if only to talk of ‘Nam.

    Unfortunately, Barack looks scared.
    For if he really, truly cared
    that more of us learn of his plans,
    and making true his “yes, we can,”
    he’d have debates for Uncle Sam.

  36. a take on the old Betty Botter ending:

    it was better Barack Obama called a bunch of voters bitter.

  37. This is just to say
    I have eaten
    the plums
    that were in
    the icebox

    and which
    you were probably
    for breakfast

    Forgive me
    they were delicious
    so sweet
    and so cold

    this is just to say
    how gratefully
    the child I knew

    once homeless, now sheltered
    got lucky enough
    for foodbank plums

    donated from someone’s
    old gnarled tree,
    that brief smile I saw
    rippling, purpled
    the ear to ear grin
    of an American summer

    for a couple of minutes, maybe

    ps: please vote for Hillary because as a woman she will care for the poor in this country!

  38. Barack Obama,
    you should have done your homework,
    just like Hillary.

  39. This is just to say
    I have captured
    the voters
    you were planning
    to get

    I know
    you thought
    they’d be
    there for you

    Forgive me
    I drink
    your milkshake
    I drink it up

  40. vbonnaire: That was wonderful.
    Aw, heck, they *all* are.

  41. Just drink the Kool-aid
    Don’t worry about the taste
    Obama ’08

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