- Byliner Original
Verse, like America, yearns to be free.
Few twenty-first century poets understand this better than the Belle of Wasilla, Sarah Palin. Not since Walt Whitman first heard America singing has a writer captured the hopes and dreams of her people so effortlessly—and with so many gerunds.
Though Palin’s poems were not widely read until 2008—when, in an effort to raise her profile as Alaska’s bard, she ran for vice president—her recent output has been nothing short of remarkable. And literary critics, notably Hart Seely and Jacob Weisberg, immediately recognized her as a new voice of the common man.
She is equally comfortable writing about the sporting life (It’s so good / To be here in Michigan / Where folks love the good hunting / and fishing / and the good hockey), religious existentialism (If God / Had not intended for us to eat animals / How come He made them / Out of meat?), and of course patriotic pride (Commonsense conservatives / & / Lovers of America: / Don’t retreat, / Instead— / RELOAD! / Pls see my Facebook page).
Naturally, Palin’s verse has resonated with millions—especially when she fearlessly questions authority. In May 2011, 150 years after the publication of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s immortal “Paul Revere’s Ride,” she revisited one of the most controversial episodes in American history in “God Bless Ya, Paul Revere”:
Who warned the British
That they weren't going to be taking away our arms
By ringing those bells
And making sure
As he is riding his horse thro...