The Best Truthdig Poetry of 2015
Here are the 10 poems that readers liked best from our very own original political poetry series, which was inaugurated this year. To read each poem, click on the title.
‘Agent Orange’: a Poem About the Terrible Legacy the U.S. Left in Vietnam For the 40th anniversary of the fall of Saigon, Paul Lobo Portugés’ moving poem served as a reminder of the pernicious and long-lasting effects American interventionism has had in Vietnam.
‘Where There Is Rust’: A Timely Poem About Knowledge in an Age of Deceptive Discourse “Let this inform you how/ to be informed” begins Peter Burzynski’s scathing couplets on critical thinking at a time when misinformation floods our daily lives.
‘What War Is Good For’: A Painful Indictment of What Has Now Become the American Way Jay Sizemore’s poem ponders why the U.S. is involved in war after war, a question that becomes increasingly relevant as the country continues interfering in the Middle East.
‘The Inheritance of Trauma’: A Poem Explores How Suffering Leaves a Mark on Future Generations Based on a study that posits that the children of Holocaust survivors may inherit genes altered by their parents’ trauma, Megan Collins’ poem beautifully considers how to live with the tragic fact that “blood remembers blood.”
‘A Report to the City Commissioners’: A Poem About Freedom and Privacy in the Surveillance Age At a time when the surveillance state seems stronger than ever and individuals feel increasingly helpless in their search for privacy and freedom, award-winning poet David Wagoner reminds us that sometimes even the most regimented pursuits may lead to a solace that can be found only in unexpected places.
‘Channeling James Wright’: A Satirical Poem With an Important Message Shelley Puhak updated James Wright’s “Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy’s Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota” to give it a modern political twist.
‘Love in the Time of Climate Change’: A Romantic Call to Action in the Shape of a Poem Jocelyn Macdonald’s poem about the environmental crisis will have you quitting meat, riding your bike, chasing your dreams and spooning the love by your side, all to “slow down the rising of seas, the death of the bees [and] the electric current of spreading disease.”
‘Shock Wave’: A Compelling Poem About the Boston Marathon Bombings Leslie McGrath’s poem gives us an intimate look into a person’s mind in the immediate aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings that took place April 15, 2013.
‘Each Breath Despite the Air’: A Poet’s View of Gaza From America Kenji Liu’s poem about the 2014 conflict in Gaza was especially poignant to listen to as news spread of the Palestinian Authority joining the International Criminal Court.
‘That Bird Has My Wings’: An Acrostic Pantoum About Death Row Prisoner Jarvis Jay Masters Carolyne Wright’s touching poem “That Bird Has My Wings” is an acrostic pantoum that vertically spells out the name Jarvis Jay Masters, an African-American on death row in a California prison.Wait, before you go…
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