When I read the book section of the Sunday newspaper – yes, I’m a dinosaur, I still read and enjoy the daily newspaper – I always look at The New York Times hardcover fiction and non-fiction best seller lists.
This section is usually followed by a list of top sellers from a local bookstore, and on a recent Sunday that store was Warwick’s, which proudly states it’s “The oldest continuously family-owned and operated bookstore in the United States…since 1896.”
So I’d say Warwick’s has some credibility.
Or it did.
Until I saw this:
That’s right – coming in at #6 on Warwick’s top sellers: The Beautiful Poetry of Donald Trump.
Now, Trump has been in the White House for a nightmarish what-seems-like forever, and while I have many words to associate with him, “beautiful” and “poetry” are not two of them.
Never once has it occurred to me to put “beautiful” and “Trump” in the same thought, nor “poetry” and “Trump.” Never until this very repulsive moment.
Is this a joke?
Well, the book is on Amazon, hardcover, in stock, with 105 customer ratings, published by Canongate Books. With this description:
Does a poet’s heart beat under Donald Trump’s brash exterior?
Experience his best quotes and tweets, rearranged into poems and haikus.
It’s a new word order.
This called for:
- Anti-nausea pills, followed by
Looking at the cover above, in very small print we see that Trump is not the author of the book – on the cover it says, “Created by Rob Sears.”
It’s also immediately apparent that the creator(s) put Trump’s head on someone else’s body. Seriously – Trump, in a cravat?
And look at the hands on the cover – compare those graceful, slender fingers to Trump’s, which are stubby and thick:
So far we’ve established that Trump neither wrote the poetry, nor posed for its cover.
Next research: “Creator” Rob Sears, who proved easy to find.
Sears has a page on the publisher’s website, where I learned that Canongate Books is in the United Kingdom, and Sears lives in Finsbury Park, a bit north of London.
In 2017 – the year the book was published – Sears was also featured in this September article in the UK’s Guardian:
From the article:
“‘He [Trump] does speak in very compact, distilled phrases that tell you a lot about who he is, in a small number of words. So it’s not that far away from poetry,” says Sears. “Lots of declarative sentences, a staccato rhythm. There is no complexity to anything he says. People have said he writes like a third grader with a limited vocabulary. I’ve read so many of his words and there really are no exceptions.’
And of the book, the article says:
“More than 30 years of Trump’s misogyny, xenophobia and taste for vengeance are on display – all fastidiously footnoted.”
OK, I get it.
The book is a joke. If I’d scrolled a bit further down the Amazon page, I would have seen the category “Satire.”
Apparently Sears was motivated to – and found a publisher for – a collection of Trump’s tweets and other statements which Sears cut up, reordered, and pasted together.
Without further ado, but with the anti-nausea pills, here’s an excerpt:
Here’s another about – of all things – Trump’s hands:
And here’s the one on the back of the book, in case you couldn’t read it in the top image:
I knew those anti-nausea pills would come in handy.
So of course, I get it – the Warwick top seller list is serious, but the book is a joke.
What I don’t get was how the book ended up on Warwick’s top seller list – who was buying it? Were they people who thought Trump actually wrote poetry?
Based on some of the Amazon reviews, it appears so:
“I was expecting poetry from Donald Trump!”
“This book is not Trump’s poetry…written to put the President in a negative light, probably penned by a Democrat. It should not have been allowed to be published.”
“This book is horrible and is an attempt to make President Trump look stupid? The book is not what I thought it was going to be…”
“They are poking fun at the WONDERFUL INTELLIGENT president of the U.S.A. in this waste of paper. He is a genius, and the reason this book only has two or three words per page to attempt to insult him is because the TRUTH is – they could fill volumes with his meaning and wit.”
“More liberal hate and attacks on the greatest president since Lincoln!”
Or did they buy it thinking they’d have a good laugh?
Because…I’m not laughing.
I’m not laughing because what Trump says isn’t a joke.
Trump, and what he says, are a tragedy:
Update, March 9: And now, from a different author, these more recent examples of Trump’s poetry: