Post-Trump Poems at Stride

In reviewing a recent reading by the American poet David Baker here, I referred to his comments then on the seeming inability to account for Trump’s election in America, both as being unable to explain its shocking reality in everyday conversation or the formality of a reading, but also, by extrapolation, as a writer who will need to deal with/assimilate/reflect on this in poetry.

I picked up on that ‘anxiety’ [not wishing to overstate], but certainly haven’t felt entirely able to write a wholly successful post-Trump poem. I have written two responses, one that is posted on this site here, and the other here at Stride. This latter one does pick up on Baker’s comments, having been prompted by them: the reference to birds is because he had written about them so much in the poetry he read aloud, and also the reference to syllabics because he referred to this in talking about his stylistic approaches to writing.

There are at least two excellent post-Trump poems at the online magazine Stride that I would have liked getting nearer to writing myself. The first is Tim Cummings’ Moon Weight here, and it is wonderfully oblique, humorous but also lyrical in accounting for this, though the following coalesces such various tangents more directly,

Here’s a man whose eyes are full of property.
The sense of loss at his arrival is like a flood of moonlight
on a patch of serious poetry.

The other is by Martin Stannard, Mrs Baxter Bakes a Pie, posted here yesterday, and as the title suggests, it is a typically satirical Stannard exposé, the opening Dickensian miscue the intentional start to its witty if despairing judgement,

It was the worst of times preceded by the worst of times
Although we should have known that looking back
Nobody would agree which was which.

All Mrs Baxter can do when considering the ramifications of Trump’s election is to bake more pies, perhaps an example of Beckett’s habit is a great deadener, but I suspect Stannard sees it as just baking, a simpler explanation for evasion and coping. You’ll need to read the whole to decide for yourself.

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