Tuesday, January 12, 2016


Campaign Thoughts

Franklin P. Adams (1881-1960), "Campaign Thoughts," In Other Words (Garden City: Doubleday, Page & Company, 1912), pp. 57-58:
This is a presidential year.
    (An unassailable reflection.)
"Things will be better," so we hear,
                "After election."

Now comes the questing of the Vote,
    The Call to Arms, the Appeal to Reason,
The Keynote Speech, the Clarion Note —
                This is the season

When everywhere and roundabout,
    From coast to coast, and vicy-versy,
The candidates will speak and spout,
                Sans fear or mercy;

When from the Peerless Pines of Maine
    To California's Pebbly Beaches,
We are enthralled by the campaign,
                And many speeches.

Perhaps I ought to add "enthralled,"
    (Cf. line 3, above tetrastich)
As Mr. Ward once might have drawled
                Was wrote sarkastick.

And therefore I demand a word,
    A message to This Glorious Nation.
I crave the right of being heard
                On Conservation.

On Conservation: Not of trees
    Of waterways, or fish, or horses —
Of something greater far than these:
                Human Resources.

Resources wasted in campaigns,
    In oratory dry and juiceless.
The waste of energy and brains
                Strikes me as useless.

For him I'd vote who said "Enough!
    I scorn the terrible traditions
Of the campaign. I leave that stuff
                To politicians."

That's all. I might do five or six
    More stanzas, but I find it dreary.
Do you care much for politics?
                They make me weary.

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