Updated: Aug 19, 2019
Acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli has taken a lot of flak for reimagining the poem inscribed on the base of the Statue of Liberty.
When asked if “give me your tired, your poor,” was part of the American ethos, he said yes, then revised it to “give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge.”
Cruel? Yes. Insensitive? Absolutely. Trumpian? Assuredly.
But good? It doesn't even make the cut in the new Famous Poetry Re-imagined from the Trump White House which should be out my Christmas. Printed in China, but with no tariffs we can all buy it.
Some "re-imagined" excerpts.
•from William Shakespeare;
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day
And would that be a summer’s day three-hundred years ago
before the earth started boiling; if not, then
can I compare thee to maybe late spring, Say...um... May 8? Around noon?
•two from Robert Frost:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
But I wouldn’t have if Congress could pass an
infrastructure bill and fix these damn roads
The woods are lovely, dark, and deep, But some clear-cutting should take care of that
With lots of LEDs Think of the visibility then!
•from Alan Ginsberg:
I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness,
And I saw the worst mind of my generation in the White House.
Of course I howled. Wouldn’t you!
•two from e e cummings:
since feeling is first
who pays any attention
to the syntax of things
will never be confused with
so is most of the presidential cabinet
and White House staff
and almost every diplomat
•from Carl Sandburg:
Hog Butcher for the World,
Toolmaker, stacker of wheat
Sounds like the makings of a nice pork sandwich
and don’t skimp on the applesauce!
•from Emily Dickinson:
“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
That doesn’t mean it gets to hide on the
Endangered Species list anymore
from Robert Burns
O my Luve is like a red, red rose That’s newly sprung in June; O my Luve is like the melody That’s sweetly played in tune.
"Wait," the president said.
"Luve" is spelled wrong,
What's with the "e"?
from Henry David Thoreau
If a man does not keep pace with his companions,
perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.
Or perhaps it is because he hears his wife yelling,
"Who the hell is Stormy Daniels?"
•from Samuel Taylor Coleridge:
Water, water, everywhere, and all the boards did shrink
Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink
So you can’t boil it first?
Newark? Flint? I'm talking to you.
•from William Wordsworth:
“I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.”
And I said what a spot for a Starbucks.
•from William Butlet Yeats
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
Why that’s no rough beast,
that’s Donald Trump...in his second coming—
slouching toward the eighth hole,
and then on to Bethlehem...
A swing state
•from William Carlos Williams
so much depends
a red wheel
and the emolument clause
and the hidden tax returns
and the Mueller investigation,
and the accusations of sexual misconduct
Nothing depends on them...
or on the red wheelbarrow
from Edgar Allan Poe
Quoth the raven, nevermore,
Or don’t quoth the raven
Teach the raven to tweet
and people will think he has a brain.
I can provide an example.