#PoetryMonth The Gilded Auction Block
- Author: Shane McCrae (1975)
- Title: The Gilded Auction Block (22 poems)
- Published: 2019
- Trivia: Shane McCrae wrote this collection as a reaction to Trump being elected.
- List of Challenges 2021
- Monthly plan
- #PoetryMonth (April 2021)
- A mixed-race poet raised by white supremacists
- addresses his country – and his president.
- Now if that doesn’t make you curious
- as to what McCrae has to say…
- …what will?
- Shane McCrae has written elsewhere about
- the trauma of being taken at a young age
- to live with his maternal grandparents.
- Cut off from his black father, he was brought up
- as a white supremacist by his grandmother.
- She who insisted that he wasn’t black.
- He earned his G.E.D. at eighteen after dropping out of
- high school, enrolled in community college in Oregon.
- He eventually got an M.F.A. (Master of Fine Arts) at the University of Iowa.
- McCrae e earned a J.D. (Juris Doctor) at Harvard Law School.
- He now teaches at Columbia University.
- During an interview McCrae explained the title of the book.
- “Gilded Auction Block is, an illusion of prominence,
- this brilliantly glowing prominence
- …that you’ve been raised above so you can be sold.”
- Irony…put on a pedestal….only to be sold and devalued.
The President Visits the Storm
- Epigraph for the poem “What a crowd! What a turnout!”
- This poem is the voice of someone who is supposed to be introducing Trump.
- Style is jaunty and feels like a string of
- …soundbites that are meant to energize the crowd.
- But McCrae twists the situation…
- ….are these the words victims of Hurricane Harvey want to hear?
- The purpose of Trump’s visit to Texas was to survey
- damage and coordinate federal support for the storm-ravaged area.
- But Trump appeared focused on crowd size, treating his remarks like a rally.
Everything I Know About Blackness I Learned From Donald Trump
- McCrae is thinking how he couldn’t remember what about
- Trump he thought was the death of America.
- My moment was when I heard Trump was elected.
- I know exactly where I was and what I said:
- “Did I hear that correctly…perhaps age is creeping up on me.”
- No, BBC said: “Trump won.”
- The first sentence of the poem was probably McCrae’s moment:
- “America I was driving when I heard you had died
- …I swerved into a ditch and wept.”
The Hell Poem
- The Hell Poem which makes up the entire third section.
- It is epic…an Inferno-ish poem.
- Before each section are visual pieces by the artist Christine Sajecki.
- McCrae added in an interview some back round information about this poem.
- He started “The Hell Poem,” got stuck, and then abandoned the poem in 2014.
- Then Trump was elected.
- Immediately he realized there was a place for Trump in it.
- McCrae: “I think the reason I had gotten stuck was
- that the poem was waiting for Trump.”
- You’ll have to read the poem to discover
- ….what Trump in doing in an Inferno!
- Great book to start….#PoetryMonth 2021!
- There is a place where for a few moments
- …we can at least feel protected
- ….it is while reading a poem.