On Monday, BlogPost created a quiz to test our collective knowledge about Paul Revere’s Ride. Kristin Peszka, the interpretation and visitor services director at Paul Revere’s House, told me that much of our confusion over Revere’s life stems from the famous poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, who added literary flourishes to a historical story, confusing generations to come about what was fact and fiction.
(Click here to jump to other people’s poems.)
Pezka says Longfellow wrote the poem in 1860 as his country was barreling toward the Civil War. He created the poem as a tribute to the country’s glorified past, hoping to write a national hero into being, out of the fear that his country was dividing (and it was).
One creative writer in the comments of the quiz, took Longfellow’s poem and turned it into a criticism of Sarah Palin (though my editor bemoans that the rhyme scheme is off. “If you take the last line of the first stanza and make it the first line of the second stanza, it works,” he writes. Everyone’s a critic, I say).
I wondered if other BlogPost readers would want to pick up the creative thread and write more poetry based on this story, or any story this week. (I’m guessing there may be a few unpublishable limericks already swirling around Weinergate.)
Let us know in the comments or try your hand at #palinpoetry either in the comments or by tweeting a short poem.
Here’s BlogPost reader Tbarksdl’s poem:
Listen my children, and you shall grin,
At the media ride of Sarah Palin,
For day after day in twenty-eleven,
(Hardly any will be forgiven,)
Came tons of words from history’s trash bin
She said to her friends, “I will gladly march,”
By land or sea from DC tonight,
With nary a light in my brainless arch,
With mindless chattering as my signal light,
One thought on land, none on the sea,
And I two full quarts low will always be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm,
To every yahoo village and farm,
For the misled folk to be up and to arm.
“The socialists are coming! The socialists are coming!”
“Hit them with tax cuts! Unleash the greed!”
And so on and on rode Sarah Palin,
To every yahoo village and farm.