Activist Art: Get Your Political Haiku On…

People for the American Way is sponsoring a contest for politically minded poets and wannabes. A contest billed as the McPalin Haiku Hysteria is taking submissions from folks who can come up with snappy bits of prose about the McCain/Palin ticket. Naturally, it would probably be to the entrant’s benefit if submissions conform to the generally accepted form used traditionally in the Japanese poetry form that is haiku — three lines, generally unrhymed, featuring, respectively, five, seven, and five syllables.

Three winners will be chosen after the Oct. 27 deadline; their haikus will be featured in The Nation. Pretty cool prize. 

Yes, I entered. Here are my three submitted poems, plus one alternate version:


pain and the mcshame
greed, indifference sold as good?


There is another form of that one that I didn’t enter: 

pain and the mcshame
aren’t we our siblings’ keepers?

shoot the wolves from planes
feed the rich and bleed the poor
change we do not want


the hate talk express
drives message of greed, not love
trip to disaster

haiku by natalie davis (c) 2008 – all rights reserved


Clearly, I am no Basho Matsuo, but perhaps one of the three haiku offerings entered will win. Or not. Doesn’t matter — it’s always satisfying to create anyway, don’t you think? I think the real challenge here is to make sharp points about the McCain/Palin ticket without sounding like too much of a jerk, but that’s my personal effort to avoid spiritual violence talking. I’m really interested to see how others navigate those turbulent waters if they choose to do that. It isn’t easy.

We’d certainly love to see what cool haiku you can create. Feel free to share in Comments if you want. Even if you don’t win, you’ll have a record of your original creativity preserved right here.

If you want to enter the contest, get haiku-ing. You’ll find all the info you need, along with the submission form, at PFAW’s site.

One response to “Activist Art: Get Your Political Haiku On…

  1. Pingback: A Verse For The Worse? « The Liberal Doomsayer

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