“Selecting a Presidential Nominee Through Primaries,” by Calvin Trillin of the Nation. Published on March 10, 2016.
Calvin Trillin’s latest article, “Selecting a Presidential Nominee through Primaries (2016),” implies that people may prefer a shift in the pattern of how the GOP delegates choose a presidential candidate. Trillin develops his argument through his problem-solving tone and ambiguous question at the end of the poem. Trillin’s purpose is to trigger a questioning response in the readers mind ( e.g. *reader thinks* “Could primary voting much more secretive than previous elections?”) for them to remember that “anything could happen,” especially during this particular presidential election. Through four ambiguous lines of poetry, Trillin writes to a politically engaged audience that includes all classes of political ideology (left to moderate to right).
Trillin begins this poem with the 11-syllable line, “Approval of reform was quite emphatic,” in which we can tell from the title of the poem and “reform” that he is talking about primary voting changes. In the next line, “Let’s let… democratic,” Trillin uses assonance (“let’s let the voters vote“) possibly to invoke humor because of the next sentence, in which he states that this type of behavior is “democratic.” Moving to the third line (“But now a question that’s distressing looms:”), Trillin depicts many anxious voters as the tangling strings of “looms,” a machine usually used to connect strands to form cloth. Finally, just like his previous poem, Trillin ends this one with a question, this time inquiring the reader on the possible popularity of secretive, alliance-based voting due to the overflooding competition of this election. “Smoke-filled rooms” is political jargon used to prompt the picture of men smoking cigars in a locked room, debating and deciding on which presidential candidate to root for in the primaries.
Comment to Mr. Trillin:
Having only followed you for two weeks, I have noticed that you tend to add an ambiguous tone to your poems. Do you believe that through these dark rooms, a party could randomly decide to pick another candidate?