The Onion: Miserable Nation Turns to New Poet Laureate For Solace

Posted on September 23, 2011

By now we've all heard the news that Pulitzer Prize-winning California State University professor emeritus Philip Levine will take up the mantle as America's next Poet Laureate in just a couple of weeks. The Onion says that his appointment comes just in time, as people in dire economic straits always turn first to poetry to soothe their frazzled spirits. It's every poet's fantasy:

"We've long relied on our poet laureates as a beacon of hope in times of trouble," said 55-year-old car mechanic Chuck Burgess, who traveled from Minneapolis to keep vigil alongside the many thousands waiting for the sagely Levine to emerge from his two-story ranch house and take up his new mantle. "Their masterfully crafted verses and subtle explorations of interiority dispel the nation's fears in a way that nothing else can."

According to reports, copies of Levine's 2004 collection Breath have been pulled down from bookshelves in living rooms throughout the nation, with friends and family gathering to reread the new laureate's free verse testaments to the persistence of life in the presence of coming darkness.

The article goes on to reveal that reading all of Professor Levine's collected works just isn't enough for his rabid fans. Thousands of people have gathered outside his home, demanding that he read his works aloud.
"Be still, my children, and listen," said Levine, donning on a pair of wire-rim glasses, opening a brown leather-bound journal, and taking a seat on his porch swing. "I shall now read to you a poem entitled 'Milkweed.'"
If only poets were so revered today. Read the whole thing here.


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