EDITORIAL: The Art of the Trumpian Limerick


The Justice Project is a multimedia editorial feature of WestVirginiaVille.com, focused on issues and people in the 2020 elections. SUBSCRIBE to our free newsletter for new videos and site updates: westvirginiaville.substack.com


“The Art of the Trumpian Limerick,” A Justice Project 2020 original video by WestVirginiaVille.com

UPDATE: We just learned that Colleen fell and broke her wrist and will have surgery today. Heal well, Ms. Anderson! Healing vibes coming your way.


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As Donald Trump’s first term limps towards its end—and as those of us aghast by that term pray it is his only one—we drop in on a Trumpian chronicler. Soon after Trump shocked the world with his showman’s ascent to the White House, Colleen Anderson—a West Virginia poet, writer and graphic designer—turned her own shock into rhymed outrage and barbed couplets. What do you get when you mix Donald Trump with a Limerick Master?

You get Molotov Limericks. Above is a video look back at a poetic servitude which Colleen deeply hopes will come to a halt on Nov. 3, 2020. | ~ Douglas John Imbrogno | WestVirginiaVille.com editor


“TRUMPROSODY: Light Verse for Dark Times.” is available at LULU.com for $8.95.

Transcript

COLLEEN ANDERSON: “It’s like trying to breathe underwater/Or being a lamb led to slaughter./Trusting all you have got/to a guy you would not/leave alone with your dog or your daughter.”

WVVILLE: So, what was the very first inspiration, the ‘A-ha!’ moment after Trump had been elected, that: ‘I’m gonna write a limerick and start commenting upon his presidency.’

CA: It had to be about a day or two after he took office. And I think I was just beginning to realize how horrible the next years we’re going to be.


Colleen Anderson, author of “TRUMPROSODY: Light Verse for Dark Times.”

CA: Okay, this is from February 27, 2017. Still kind of at the real beginning of things.

CA: “Did you vote for the golden-haired duffer?/Who told you Barack made you suffer?/If you’re a rich male and white/you may think you’re all right./If you’re not, things are just getting tougher.”

“‘You elders,’ they say with such bonhomie/’Should die to protect the economy…’ It’s our pensions they’ll keep/if they put us to sleep./A martyr like that? I don’t want to be.”

CA: OK, so, another thing that once … another thing that prompted a limerick for me was when—I don’t even remember who it was, who criticized Maxine Waters because he said he couldn’t pay attention to what she was saying—because her hairdo reminded him of James Brown. And that that prompted this one:


Maxine Waters. | WestVirginiaVille.com colorized illustration

CA: “Oh, parents, may you bring up daughters/as valiant as brave Maxine Waters./And please be aware,/those who critique her hair./The goofiest hairdo is not hers!

CA: There’s something about writing a limerick for me that allows me to condense my outrage… into a little tiny packet.

“There seems to be no way of quelling /his lying and whining and yelling,/of this, I am sure./But must we endure/his wretched alternative spelling?

CA: Over the four years, I think I’ve probably written close to 500 limericks.

“Dear ones, we have hard times ahead./But remember what Mother Jones said./Her advice serves us well./Let’s keep fighting like hell/for the living and pray for the dead.”


Image from the video.

CA: I walk every morning with a couple of friends on the Sunrise Carriage Trail. And very often, they will inspire the day’s limerick. Sometimes, it’s just something they say—it’s a phrase that strikes my ear the right way. Or sometimes they’ll say you ought to write about such-and-such.



WVVILLE: Are you looking forward to the day when you no longer have to write Trump limericks?

CA: Believe me, I cannot WAIT for this to be over!

CA: Okay, this last one is from September 2020. And I just like… it’s fun for me.

“When conditions have gotten adverse./Trump’s response is to make matters worse./Whatever he touches/corrodes in his clutches./He’s King Midas—except in reverse.”


“TRUMPROSODY: Light Verse for Dark Times.” is available at LULU.com for $8.95.



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