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Deadline Poet, or, My Life as a Doggerelistby Calvin Trillin
Synopses & Reviews
In 1990, columnist Calvin Trillin happened upon an unlikely inspiration for poetry ? the entertainingly arrogant and euphoniously named John Sununu. Trillin published a poem entitled "If You Knew What Sununu," and found himself launched as a weekly gadfly in verse for The Nation ? a deadline poet.
On weekly deadline, he found his inspiration broadening to include such figures as Saddam Hussein and Clarence Thomas and Ross Perot and Madonna and the Philadelphia Phillies. When George Bush went back to Texas ("We wish you well. Just take your ease, /And never order Japanese"), Trillin turned to his successor Bill ("I got the movin' to the middle 'cause it's slip'ry on the edges blues") Clinton.
Here, in prose as sparkling as the verse that accompanies it, Trillin describes his evolution from a "special-occasions poet" into a deadline poet, and comments on the events that inspired his weekly verse. The result is an irresistible entertainment that also turns out to be an antic history of three years of American life that were particularly rich in material for someone who describes his job this way: "The news presents a motley little band / That I observe, tomato in my hand."
"[A]n irreverent, hilarious romp..." Publishers Weekly
"Though the opening pages of [Trillin's] yappings leave something to be desired, his skills increase with use, although Trillin's funniest moment isn't poetry; it's his complaint about losing Alexander Haig as a fit object of ridoggericule as he watches Haig, like Shane on his white horse, ride out of town..." Kirkus Reviews
"The best that can be said of this [book]...is that it surrounds the verse with lots of prose commentary....Trillin is very definitely a far better prose writer than a versifier, but you'll have to downright worship his commas in order to not be distracted by just about anything...while reading this numbing trifle..." Ray Olson, Booklist
"As always, Trillin amuses and offers a lighthearted look at our world." Library Journal
"Funny and trenchant....Trillin is at his very best." The Boston Globe
"Deadpan wit, deceptively simple surface and keen aim....This is doggerel for the ages." New York Newsday
"A hoot!" Seattle Times
"Jolly jabs....Without Trillin the world would be a sorrier place." Chicago Sun-Times
A delightful collection of witty poems, paired with even wittier essays about their origins, from the much loved and highly acclaimed bestselling writer and humorist.
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