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April 1, 2021

#PoetryMonth The Gilded Auction Block

by N@ncy


  1. A mixed-race poet raised by white supremacists
  2. addresses his country – and his president.
  3. Now if that doesn’t make you curious
  4. as to what McCrae has to say…
  5. …what will?

Impressive biography:

  1. Shane McCrae has written elsewhere about
  2. the trauma of being taken at a young age
  3. to live with his maternal grandparents.
  4. Cut off from his black father, he was brought up
  5. as a white supremacist by his grandmother.
  6. She who insisted that he wasn’t black.
  7. He earned his G.E.D. at eighteen after dropping out of
  8. high school, enrolled in community college in Oregon.
  9. He eventually got an M.F.A. (Master of Fine Arts) at the University of Iowa.
  10. McCrae e earned  a J.D. (Juris Doctor) at Harvard Law School.
  11. He now teaches at Columbia University.


  1. During an interview McCrae explained the title of the book.
  2. Gilded Auction Block is, an illusion of prominence,
  3. this brilliantly glowing prominence
  4. …that you’ve been raised above so you can be sold.”
  5. Irony…put on a pedestal….only to be sold and devalued.

The President Visits the Storm

  1. Epigraph for the poem   “What a crowd! What a turnout!”
  2. This poem is the voice of someone who is supposed to be introducing Trump.
  3. Style is jaunty and feels like a string  of
  4. …soundbites that are meant to energize the crowd.
  5. But McCrae twists the situation…
  6. ….are these the words victims of  Hurricane Harvey want to hear?
  7. The purpose of Trump’s visit to Texas was to survey
  8. damage and coordinate federal support for the storm-ravaged area.
  9. But  Trump appeared focused on crowd size, treating his remarks like a rally.

Everything I Know About Blackness I Learned From Donald Trump

  1. McCrae is thinking how he couldn’t remember what about
  2. Trump he thought was the death of America.
  3. My moment was when I heard Trump was elected.
  4. I know exactly where I was and what I said:
  5. “Did I hear that correctly…perhaps age is creeping up on me.”
  6. No, BBC said: “Trump won.”
  7. The first sentence of the poem was probably McCrae’s moment:
  8. “America I was driving when I heard you had died
  9. …I swerved into a ditch and wept.”

The Hell Poem

  1. The Hell Poem which makes up the entire third section.
  2. It is epic…an Inferno-ish poem.
  3. Before each section  are  visual pieces by the artist Christine Sajecki.
  4. McCrae added in an interview some back round information about this poem.
  5. He started “The Hell Poem,” got stuck, and then abandoned the poem in 2014.
  6. Then Trump was elected.
  7. Immediately he realized there was a place for Trump in it.
  8. McCrae: “I think the reason I had gotten stuck was
  9. that the poem was waiting for Trump.”
  10. You’ll have to read the poem to discover
  11. ….what Trump in doing in an Inferno!


  1. Great book to start….#PoetryMonth 2021!
  2. There is a place where for a few moments
  3. …we can at least feel protected
  4. ….it is while reading a poem.
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