July 10, 2023

Source: Bigstock

Are all modern-day popular poems really secretly written by Oprah Winfrey? It may well be so.

Amanda Gorman, the unbearable young black American “poet” catapulted to undeserved stardom after she performed her shitty little ditty of leftist doggerel “The Hill We Climb” at the inauguration of President Joe Biden in January 2021, last month gave her first interview reacting to the terrible recent news that her poem has allegedly been banned (sadly it hasn’t) by a single Florida school.

Speaking to CBS News in June, Gorman complained how “All it takes is one person, one quickly written complaint, to render that book inaccessible for everyone in the community,” a reaction that rather suggests that left-wingers don’t like it when their own cancel-culture tactics are turned around and used against them by persons on the conservative right.

“Gorman ended up gracing the cover of Time magazine, performing at the Super Bowl, and signing a modeling deal with top firm IMG Models, just like Dame Edith Sitwell.”

To be fair to Gorman, the single parent who did complain about her poem—causing it to be moved to a different section of a school library where it is still available to any student upon request, not actually banned at all—did not seem especially poetry-literate. The parent, a mother of two children at Bob Graham Education Center in Miami-Dade County, filled in a complaint form arguing Gorman’s poem was “not educational” and contained “indirectly hate messages” [sic], its true intention being to “cause confusion and indoctrinate students” into Critical Race Theory-type dogma.

Whilst completing the complaint form, however, the mother made a real schoolgirl error: In the space where she was supposed to list the offending text’s author, she accidentally wrote in “Oprah Winfrey,” not “Amanda Gorman.” This made me laugh, as when I first heard Gorman’s godawful dirge back in January 2021, filled as it was with banal leftish platitudes and bland, emetic therapy-speak, I immediately thought to myself, “That sounds like it was written by Oprah Winfrey.” So, I can certainly see why the mother made this mistake.

Comic Oprah
Oprah Winfrey and Amanda Gorman are in fact directly connected; Oprah even wrote the introduction to Gorman’s poem when it was later published in book form, thereby presumably accounting for the outraged mother’s mistake. Prior to Biden’s inauguration, Oprah sent Gorman two pieces of jewelry to wear: a pair of gold hoop earrings and a ring with a birdcage on it, a reference to Maya Angelou, author of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, another perpetually whining left-wing black female poet who delivered her revolting rhymes at a Democratic presidential inauguration, that of Bill Clinton back in 1993.

Oprah and Gorman are on texting terms, and the elder stateswoman appears to have helped her younger protégée into a lucrative media career: In the wake of performing her Ode To Joe, Gorman ended up gracing the cover of Time magazine, performing at the Super Bowl, and signing a modeling deal with top firm IMG Models, just like Dame Edith Sitwell.

Naturally, Amanda also bagged herself an interview slot on The Oprah Conversation, where, when asked how she was managing her newfound fame, Gormless Gorman responded that “my team” (did T.S. Eliot have a team? Or John Keats?) has one key rule when considering any new commercial opportunities, namely: “We always say to ourselves, ‘What would Oprah say?’”

This rather implies that Oprah and Amanda are of one and the same mind about many matters, and a closer examination of their respective oeuvres reveals this indeed may be so. Below are four “inspirational” (as in, inspiring one to vomit) quotes taken from Gorman’s “The Hill We Climb” and four equal nuggets of daytime TV non-wisdom taken from a random online collection of equally emetic Winfrey quotes. Can you actually tell which is which? (Answers are at the bottom of the page.)

(1) We lay down our arms so we can reach out our arms to one another.
(2) Become the change you want to see—those are words I live by.
(3) While we have our eyes on the future, history has its eyes on us.
(4) There is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it.
(5) My feet are still on the ground. I’m just wearing better shoes.
(6) I do not know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future.
(7) I trust that everything happens for a reason, even when we’re not wise enough to see it.
(8) Even as we grieved, we grew.

It isn’t immediately obvious, is it? Maybe the concerned Florida mother was right, and Oprah did write the poem after all.

Poetic License to Print Money
“The Hill We Climb” is not poetry, it is liberal Establishment propaganda, a New York Times op-ed misleadingly laid out upon the page with random line-breaks so as to resemble a poem visually, if not actually verbally. A mere simulacrum of poetry, it acts only to reflect the ruling elite’s unquestioned liberal pieties back at them in a flattering and easily comprehensible fashion, facilitated on the odd occasion by the aid of a rhyming dictionary. It is in fact, therefore, a legitimate teaching aid for use in Florida schools, after all: Educators can show it to students and say, “This is not what a poem is, and under no circumstances should you attempt to imitate it or you will immediately be failed.”

Written in a single night (perhaps even a single minute) following the pro-Trump Capitol Riots of January 6, the ditty claims to be about freedom, but “freedom” within this context means what, precisely? Freedom only to conform to the leftish moral, political, and aesthetic norms of our governing class, which the piece praises and then disingenuously universalizes.

The precise lines of Gorman’s that the Florida mother appeared to object to read in part “the norms and notions of what ‘just’ is isn’t always justice” (thanks again, rhyming dictionary!). In other words, normativity itself must henceforth be forcibly deconstructed—which is to say, of course, traditional white cisheteropatriarchal normativity, not the new diversity-worshipping political normativity now being imposed upon us all from above by the particular contemporary political power caste for whom Amanda Gorman acts as such a capable pseudo-artistic public sycophant.

“Writers are the engineers of human souls,” Stalin is supposed to have said: It seems Gorman’s own soul, if the simpering little lefty android has one, has already been engineered for her, by Oprah Winfrey. Appropriately enough, many of the key lines from Gorman’s amateurish effort could easily be printed on T-shirts, mugs, towels, keffiyehs, or rainbow flags, an excellent cheap and tatty birthday gift for the intellectually inert leftist in your life. In this, Gorman is following not only the basic model of Oprah, but also of Insta.

Songs of Nothing but Myself
The contemporary phenomenon of Instagram poets is as clear an example as can be that the art of poetry as a popular medium is now every bit as dead as all those long-buried ancient villagers Thomas Gray once eulogized in “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard.” Instagram is normally considered a photo-sharing app, so poems on the site are billed as tiny, self-contained snapshots, designed to be consumed in instant, bite-size chunks alongside a brief cup of coffee—i.e., mercifully brief self-help slogan caffeine boosts for the emotionally incontinent.

Unlike real poems, these items often find themselves the subject of adulatory write-ups in glossy women’s magazines; Four Quartets has yet to be treated thus. One typical such encomium published in Cosmopolitan to celebrate World Poetry Day last year recommends the leading InstaPoets as being “guaranteed to make you feel all the feels,” just so long as the only things your deadened progressive soul is now capable of actually feeling relate purely to modish, millennial-courting subjects like “friendship, romantic love and self-love…mental health, gender identity and politics.”

Lines pulled out for particular praise by the article’s excessively emotive author include “you are a work in progress/Learning and growing, healing and evolving,” from one Parker Lee. As Parker is “a trans and non-binary poet” (and a former professional wrestler like W.B. Yeats), perhaps he/she/it is quite literally a work in progress, at least until fans cough up enough cash to fund the necessary genital mutilation operations.

Of Alison Malee, tellingly, it is said that “everything she writes is super-empowering,” in particular the couplet “Nothing you build/Can grow if you don’t.” What if you build an orchard? Just like Sylvia Plath, meanwhile, Charlie Brogan writes highly inspiring verse about “fleeting friendships forged with women in toilets” and “keeping stuff in bras.” Might be a few tips in that one for Parker Lee, once the fake-tit implants have successfully been installed.

Rupi’s Rupees
The most successful InstaPoet is Rupi Kaur, a Canadian of Indian heritage and handily photogenic appearance (at least compared with, say, Philip Larkin in a wig and lipstick) who has millions of online followers and whose self-illustrated books—so you don’t even have to read any of the words!—likewise sell by the dismal bucketload. Not all (or any?) of these are actual books of poetry, either: Her latest, Healing Through Words, is a full-blown self-help book.

Basically, it is structured and marketed as a means of “healing” the mentally damaged reader—you must by definition be mentally damaged to actually buy a copy—by challenging them to complete a series of pointless creative writing exercises, such as “Write a list of reasons why you are an ideal friend or partner.” In other words, please formally enumerate your own inflated sense of ego in actual print. Or, in yet other words, please now verbally masturbate.

Well, why not? It’s worked out well for Rupi Kaur. And, indeed, for Amanda Gorman. It seems that, these days, Oprah Winfrey truly is writing all the poetry that really sells, if only by proxy. And, lamentably, Oprah now has many proxies in this world…

As a final aside, many years ago I used to be an English teacher and once taught a girl called Amanda Gorman. She was in the low-ability class.

Although equally inept at writing poetry, this particular Amanda never received a million-dollar book deal, though: Unfortunately for her, she was born white.

Oprah: 2, 5, 6, 7
Gorman: 1, 3, 4, 8


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