The Talk about Elections

[forwarded to me 28 Nov 2000, without an author]

In olden times, it could be decades before major events were cast in verse. But The Great 2000 Election Controversy is so big that all-star poets have come out of retirement to quickly set the story to rhyme....


For starters, history buff Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:

Listen, my children, don't dare ignore,
The midnight actions of Bush and Gore
In early November, the year ought-ought,
Hard to believe the mess they wrought.
Two billion bucks of campaign bounty
All came down to Palm Beach County.
What result could have been horrider
Than the situation we found in Florider?


Edgar Allen Poe is his usual gloomy self:

Once upon a campaign dreary, one which left us weak and weary
O'er many a quaint and curious promise of political lore
While we nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a yapping,
As of some votes overlapping, energy-zapping to the core
"'Tis a mess here," we all muttered, as the network anchors stuttered,
Stuttered over Bush and Gore.
Could there be another election with such a case of misdirection,
One with such a weak selection, yet fraught with tension to the core?
Quoth the ravers, "Nevermore."


The limerick of Britain's Edward Lear is lighter:

There once was a U.S. election
That called for some expert detection -
How thousands of pollers
Could become two-holers
Like outhouses of recollection.


Ditto Ogden Nash:

I regret to admit that all my knowledge is
What I learned at Electoral Colleges,
So tell me please, though I hate to troubya,
Will the winner be Al, or will it be Dubya?


Joyce Kilmer is a media analyst:

I thought that I would never see
The networks all so up a tree.


Walt Whitman is lyrical, as always:

O' Captain! My Captain! our fearful trip's not done
The ship has weathered every rack, but nobody knows who's won.


Alfred Noyes rhythmically rumbles:

And still of an autumn night they say, with the White House on the line,
When the campaign's a ghostly galleon and both candidates cry, "'Tis mine!"
When the road is a ribbon of ballots, all within easy reach,
A highwayman comes riding,
Riding, Riding,
A highwayman comes riding, and punches two holes in each.


Dr. Seuss takes a look at election officials:

I cannot count them in a box
I cannot count them with a fox
I cannot count them by computer
I will not with a Roto-Rooter
I cannot count them card-by-card
I will not 'cause it's way too hard
I cannot count them on my fingers
I will not while suspicion lingers.
I'll leave the country in a jam -
I can't count ballots, Sam-I-Am.


Clement Moore adopts a holiday theme:

'Twas the month before Christmas, when all through the courts,
All the plaintiffs made stirring bad ballot reports.
Which leaves the problem:
Perhaps the best way to stop complaints that are raucous is
Start all over again, with the Iowa caucuses.


from Robert Frost:

Whose votes these are I think I know.
The chads are piling up like snow;
We will not see them fudging here
As Bush sees counts grow for his foe.

The left wing guy must think it queer
That Bush can wait without fear
Between the visits to the courts
The darkest evening of the year.

Gore gives his lawyers another call
To ask if there's another stall
The only other sound's the cry
Of changing rules for this brawl

The courts are busy, talk is cheap.
The foes have promises to keep,
And votes to count before we sleep.
To count -- and count -- before we sleep.

28 Nov. 2000 -- first posted here

See Also: 

Florida Election 2000 Humor

28 Nov 2000 (posted here)
Dr. Seuss Goes to Florida
"Let's count them upside down this time.
Let's count until the state is mine.
I will not let this VOTE count stand! 
I do not like it, GORE I am!"

08 Nov 2000; by Dennis G. Jerz
Florida Electoral Votes in 2000- Why Usability Testing Matters
The 2000 U.S. Presidential race was so close that some Democratic Party officials think a hard-to-use Florida ballot may have unfairly decided the presidency.