Sunday, May 22, 2016

2016 has really inspired me to bring back the sonnet on election (obviously not the formally soteriological kind)

On election

In all the steady hand of Providence
guides well except if, this election year,
the party I love lacks preeminence.
Then I will cry out with many a tear:
"My God, my God, why did you forsake me!
The person I want in office has lost!
In your wrath have you forgotten mercy?
Have it on me and not the foolish host!
Did you break your promise to do my will
That was given `ere the day I was born?
Or did my requests lack a prayerful skill
that You listened not, and I am forlorn?
In all things Providence can only be
The stuff that should be convenient to me!"

I think I wrote this back in 2008 waiting for a Seattle Symphony concert to start, hanging out at the front tables in Benaroya Hall.  That election cycle brought out the kind of paranoia and apocalyptic freak-out stuff that isn't unique to Americans ... but that can be expressed in uniquely American ways.  Since so many of those who self-identify as Christians seem to be self-identifying with something that's more like a red-state or blue-state civic religion than the Nicene Creed ... it just seemed like a fun idea to write a sonnet about how those people seem to feel any time the person they don't want gets the nomination or the office.

And that was 2008.  2016 ... just makes the sonnet seem more weirdly and sadly relevant than ever.

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