49th Shelf Most Anticipated Spring 2015 Poetry Selection
Iconic political speeches contain some of the best remembered and most repeated passages in contemporary English language. Especially in the United States of America, what child doesn’t know Abraham Lincoln’s “fourscore and seven years ago…” or Roosevelt’s “the only thing we have to fear…”?
Taking as its source text Barack Obama’s campaign speech from March 18, 2008, A More Perfect [ by Jimmy McInnes acts as a poetic translation of the rhetorical devices often used in political speeches. Like poetry, the campaign speech depends heavily upon the manipulation of language – the ways in which words are able to strategically twist intention and distract the eye. McInnes’s poetry exposes the inner workings of the political speech, as a genre of text as premeditated as any work of poetry or fiction.