Sarah Palin's Whitman-esque free verse

Posted on: Wed, 01/20/2016 - 21:06 By: Tom Swiss

Paliin's content is nuts. So how does she get so much admiration? Maybe her form is spot-on.

Sarah Palin: The Walt Whitman of Wasilla (New Republic)

There is a strong consensus among Palin scholars as to where she fits into the poetic pantheon: She is heir to the tradition of free-flowing democratic verse that runs from Walt Whitman to Carl Sandburg to Allen Ginsberg. As Michael Solomon writes, “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.”

Jason O. Gilbert agrees. “Many critics derided [Palin’s] speech as ‘rambling’ and ‘insane,’” he notes. “These critics are wrong. With a little proper formatting, this speech was poetry, in the tradition of Walt Whitman.”

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