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Somewhere Over the Pachyderm Rainbow: Living in an Elephant-Controlled 2010 Election Diorama by Jennifer C. Wolfe

Somewhere Over the Pachyderm Rainbow:  Living in an Elephant-Controlled 2010 Election Diorama by Jennifer C. Wolfe, published by BlazeVOX, is a satiric look at the government today following the Republican take over of the U.S. House of Representatives.  However, readers with staunch Republican beliefs who do not have a sense of humor about politics are NOT going to enjoy this volume and may even be angered by it.  On the other hand, Democrats will nod their heads in agreement, while Independents will nod, smirk, and disagree with certain aspects of these poems, which read more like prosaic diatribes.  More than anything, Wolfe has written a collection of poems to get the nation energized and talking politics, just in time for the upcoming 2012 elections (because you know that elections are now tackled at least 12 months in advance, if not more).

The Alito, Kennedy, Roberts, Scalia, and Thomas Pledge of Allegiance (page 42)

I pledge allegiance to the flag
Of the United States of our America,
And to the corporations, for which it stands,
One nation, under our thumb,
Poor invisible,
With liberty and justice, as dictated by the 5-4
Conservative majority of our Supreme Court.

As in the above poem, Wolfe twists well known moments and sayings from history and creates a new narrative to illustrate the “horrors” she sees happening in today’s government and society.  Vitriol drips from each line as she slices through the Republican rhetoric and policy to uncover the intentions of their decisions and desires.  Wolfe is clearly angered by the prominence of Fox News and Sarah Palin, but those are not her only targets.  George W. Bush, John Boehner, Tim Pawlenty, terrorism, and the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords garner equal attention from Wolfe’s sharp pen strokes.

She uses clear language, current events, rhyme, and repeating refrains to maintain the attention of the reader, especially as she nears the point in which she’s ready to slice political platforms to shreds.  There are no puzzles to unwind and the approach to politics is as aggressive as commentary from Bill O’Reilly.  From flip-flopping on Second Amendment issues to hidden agendas in policies, Wolfe calls attention to the rhetoric that covers up the truth.  For instance, why is China our ally if they continue to ship toxic toys, food, and other items to the United States?  Is it related to the fact that they own most of the national debt?

Overall Somewhere Over the Pachyderm Rainbow:  Living in an Elephant-Controlled 2010 Election Diorama by Jennifer C. Wolfe is a jumping off point for further conversation, but it will leave some readers wondering what the references refer to as they lose their immediate meaning and newer events replace those within these pages.  Luckily, the Internet will enable everyone to look up some of these references, though many will wonder if this is merely a collection by a leftist angered by the victory of the right in a political election and what it, if any, significance, it will have on the political arena.  Only time will tell how this collection impacts thinking and action into the future or if it will simply fade into the background like the many scandals among today’s political figureheads.  Taken in small chunks, readers will digest the barbs in these poems and hunger for the next course.

About the Poet:

Jennifer C. Wolfe grew up in Maplewood, Minn., and studied fiction writing and poetry at Century College in White Bear Lake. Mississippi. Wolfe has five previous publishing credentials: a poem “If” included within the Century College (White Bear Lake, MN) Spring 2008 Student Lounge literary magazine along with three poetry manuscripts, Kick the Stones: Everyday Hegemony, Empire, and Disillusionment published as an eBook by BlazeVOX Books, New York, October 2008, Yukon Rumination: Great Fun for All in the Land of Sarah Palin’s Joe Sixpack Alaska, published as an eBook by BlazeVOX Books, New York, June 2009, and Healing Optimism, and Polarization, published as an eBook by BlazeVOX Books, New York, February 2010, and two poems “St. Patrick’s Day” and “Roller Coaster,” published within the online edition of Scrambler Magazine, Issue 39, June 2010.

 

This is my 17th book for the Fearless Poetry Exploration Reading Challenge.

 

This is my 26th book for the 2011 New Authors Reading Challenge.

  • I shouldn’t be surprised, but I am — the idea of political poetry being created now — I love it! I’m adding this to my list of suggestions for my next book club — this seems like something that could provoke some fabulous conversations about art and politics!

    • I agree. This will be a great book club selection. There is so much to talk about.

  • I don’t think I’m interested in reading a whole collection of political poems, but it does sound interesting and humorous to a certain extent.

    • I don’t think this book is for everyone. I think in small chunks its a good read, but to sit and read it cover to cover may be too much for some readers.

  • I have a friend who this book would be perfect for!

    • You should have him/her check it out.