September 29, 2022

"I’m from ribbons of pasta drying on the linoleum counter in my grandmother’s Italian kitchen, tomato sauce bubbling on the stove."

"I’m from five sisters, glued together, messy rooms and borrowed jeans and standing up to bullies who lived on our block. I’m from running through the yellow street lights on hot July nights, feeling like summer would never end."

Said Jill Biden, displaying her own poetry, of the kind that she teaches to her students, from the transcript, "First Lady Jill Biden Honors the Class of 2022 National Student Poets Program at the White House."

Her poem follows the model of "Where I'm From" by George Ella Lyon, which she says she uses to begin each semester of her writing course.

65 comments:

Aggie said...

We know where you're from, honey.

Achilles said...

Why are we wasting time with Joe Biden's trophy wife?

She is so boring and dumb.

Joe Biden had an unmissable bout of dementia on national TV.

The people using Joe Biden as a puppet just bombed a major Russian pipeline and we are on the brink of nuclear war.

We are heading towards a depression level economic state being purposely caused by the regime.

Crime has spiked. Drugs are flowing over our southern border by the ton accompanied by known terrorists and millions of future mail in voters.

Yeah lets focus on the "poetry" of one of the dumbest people in the world.

Kate said...

A bit verbose. The grandmother and sisters have more resonance than the impersonal streetlights.

It's what I would expect from an introductory wirting course.

Hunter Biden's tax payer funded Hooker said...

Gag me. What a phony.

Dave Begley said...

I can't wait for these two to exit the stage.

Achilles said...

There are intelligent Democrat women right?

Why do they always pick these idiots and put them up front? Harris, Biden, Waters etc.

This is not a mistake.

Compare and contrast with Kari Lake or Georgia Meloni.

Levi Starks said...

I thought for sure she was the fascist president of Italy.

Ann Althouse said...

I remember linoleum counters. My paternal grandparents had them. They also had the original Waring "blendor," a popcorn popper with a crank to stir it with the lid shut, and vines of concord grapes that would be boiled down into jam and stored in jars sealed with paraffin.

Two-eyed Jack said...

It's quite a good writing prompt.

Ted Kooser has some good ideas in The Poetry Home Repair Manual: Practical Advice for Beginning Poets.

No need to get political about everything (although the George Ella Lyon page puts his prompt in a political context from the first sentence).

Earnest Prole said...

Said Jill Biden, displaying her own poetry

I think you meant to say Dr Jill Biden.

Joe Smith said...

I'm from breaking up marriages...

Jersey Fled said...

Ugh

wendybar said...

And then she moved on to sleeping with her boss...the father of the children she was hired to babysit, sneaking around on HIS WIFE.

Wilbur said...

Wow, memories.

My mother had a hand-cranked popcorn popper too. My uncle, an Indiana farmer, raised popcorn among other things. It was the best popcorn in the world fresh from that hand-cranker.

We also had a hand-crank ice cream maker.

mikee said...

DOCTOR Jill Biden. Althouse, you wanna be IRS audited going back to the last century, or what? Maybe FBI swatted for writing about the Insurrection? Get with the program, and call her DOCTOR. It is less absurd an imposition of the boot on your face than dementia Joe being in office.

planetgeo said...

I don't know about you, but I definitely saw the green flash emanating from Jill Biden's poetry. Like, "Community College" in neon, above "Joe's Bar."

TrespassersW said...

OK, fine. A heartwarming glimpse at your background.

Personally, I'm a lot more concerned about the ongoing abuse of your clearly addled husband, which you are clearly cooperating with, if not orchestrating.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

I have trouble wrapping my mind around the concept of the lady who waxed so ineloquently about the racial diversity of tacos teaching a writing course to impressionable young minds. When there is a D after your name the press will go to any length to promote, praise and position you as an avatar of goodness. When you are Melania the press treat you like the Munsters treated Marilyn Munster...and for the same reasons. Hell I might have happened upon the perfect analogy, given how ghoulish the leftist media actually is.

Ann Althouse said...

"OK, fine. A heartwarming glimpse at your background. Personally, I'm a lot more concerned about the ongoing abuse of your clearly addled husband, which you are clearly cooperating with, if not orchestrating."

I thought you were referring to my comment at 9:08 and then struggled to understand what you were saying about me and Meade.

Owen said...

About as musical as a car crash.

Will Cate said...

Soooo.... she rewriting someone else's poem & substituting her own, uh, lived experiences. OK, gotcha

cassandra lite said...

I've read her "dissertation." She should *not* be teaching writing. Not even limericks.

"I'm from deception. And I still live there. I helped a vegetable get elected to the White House and am keeping him there for my own aggrandizement."

Randomizer said...

I can't help it. Hillary Clinton trained us to be skeptical of casual reminiscences. When I read, "I’m from running through the yellow street lights on hot July nights, feeling like summer would never end.", I wonder if that ever happened and head over to Wikipedia.

Dr. Jill was born in 1951 and grew up in an outer suburb of Philadelphia called Willow Grove. In 1976, sodium vapor street lights were going up on major Chicago streets. Never-ending summers imply 14 or 15 years-old, which is mid-60's for Jill.

There were no yellow street lights, but I don't blame Dr. Jill. It is only a poem, and her version sounds much better than talking about endless summers running through fog banks of DDT generated from the back of Army surplus Jeeps.



TrespassersW said...

"I thought you were referring to my comment at 9:08 and then struggled to understand what you were saying about me and Meade."

Lol! I apologize for the confusion. I should have explained whose heartwarming glimpse I was alluding to.

Charlie said...

The sooner Dr. Biden leaves the public stage, the better.

Iman said...

She’s from screwing the married father of the children she baby sat, the little whooah.

Iman said...

My contribution…

Up until the age of two
Cletus grew and grew and grew
Laying waste to all he saw
Stabbed his ma and shot his pa
Then that little SOB
Hung the cat from an apple tree


Where the money?

Ann Althouse said...

"Soooo.... she rewriting someone else's poem & substituting her own, uh, lived experiences. OK, gotcha"

Like Coolio and Stevie.

Omaha1 said...

It's nice to string pretty words together but that does not make it poetry. At least a minimal effort should be put into meter or (gasp!) rhyming. It takes more work but this kind of "poetry" does not impress me in the least.

Michael K said...

The Bidens, all of them even DOCTOR Jill, are liars, phonies, grifters and corrupt to the bone. Maybe she could write a poem about that.

Don B. said...

Formica more likely, I think. I have only ever seen linoleum as flooring.

Christopher B said...

She and her husband could have some interesting discussions on where homage ends and plagiarism starts.

Paddy O said...

Well, Meade is at least a little addled...

But I think Althouse's efforts have been therapeutic or maybe at least mutually addling in an interesting, life-giving way.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

I still think Joe should also be "Dr. Biden." He has a J.D., yes? Which I imagine is rather more challenging than an Ed. D.

In related news, it seems to be NYT policy to refer to Dr. Mehmet Oz as "Mr. Oz." Wonder why?

Jupiter said...

"I thought you were referring to my comment at 9:08 and then struggled to understand what you were saying about me and Meade."

You know, we haven't heard much out of Meade lately.

Rabel said...

Oh, she's so wonderful.

I wish I could be more like Dr. Jill!!!

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Formica more likely, I think. I have only ever seen linoleum as flooring.

Showing Glenn Kessssssssler how fact checking is really done! You are correct Don B, linoleum is too damned soft to serve as countertop material. There was tile, then Formica, then granite for us in the middle class. Of course the 1% always had access to granite and marble.

Josephbleau said...

"Formica more likely, I think. I have only ever seen linoleum as flooring."

Yes, Linoleum, up to the 70's generally contained asbestos and was only for floors, now vinyl sheet goods are more common for flooring. Formica was the thin sheets of Bakelite resin laminated to the top surface and edges of wood used for countertops.

Mike said...

Well if Dr. Jill was ever a trophy wife, the standards have slipped. But that said, marrying your former baby sitter has a certain cachet. So give Joe props for that.

I will cut Dr. Jill some slack when she writes (or plagiarizes--a definite possibility well within the Biden family tradition) about teenagers feeling that summer would or should never end. Most of us have been there or done that; mine was dancing with my high school friends on a Southern California concrete patio overhung with Brazilian pepper trees. My brother and I had decorated the trees with Japanese lanterns on that warm summer night. Good times live in memories and I suspect I'm now the only one left alive out of the group that night.

veni vidi vici said...

Doktor Jill is from the Bullshitarian impulse to try too hard to be cooler than she is, as witnessed by the witless poetry you quoted, if it wasn't obvious enough from her bizarrely age-inappropriate outfits she wears as though she's trying to look like her husband's daughter because that's what it'll take for him to want to see her naked.

Ted said...

*I remember linoleum counters.*

Now do you remember linoleum floors,
Petroleum jelly, and two World Wars?
They got stuck in the revolving doors
All over this world...

--From the late Steve Goodman's 1977 song "The 20th Century Is Almost Over"

farmgirl said...

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=vbSzEWoLDJg

Who 1st?

Paddy O said...

"He has a J.D., yes?"

Is a J.D. ever really, even in just professional circles, called "Doctor"? I know it's a juris doctor, but that's kind of a vaunted label for what is really a 3 year professional degree. Equivalent to a MDiv for ministers (Masters of Divinity) which is the standard degree many denominations use for becoming ordained. An MDiv (or at least a Masters) is a prerequisite for entry into a PhD program.

I can't think of any other 3 year professional degree that uses doctor in a title. Med school is 4 years at least (with a lot of training after).

Of course, JDs are professors in law schools, so it's not diminishing the learning or intelligence of the recipient more the title that's applied. Someone teaching at a law school is definitely rightly called professor.

Lurker21 said...

The new class divide: People who still have linoleum counters versus people who only "remember" them (if even that)? Beware of outing yourself as a "marble person," Althouse. Reprisals may follow.

The Lyon poem is actually not a bad template to get students writing in the same way that "Dr. Jill" used it as a template -- plus "George Ella" fits in with the trans era -- but aren't we sick of the fake ethnicity and kitchen table anecdotes in politics?

Own who you are, politicians and politicians' wives. Own your phoniness and artificiality, and stop pretending to be "authentic." I am running out of quotation marks.

tommyesq said...

Her poem follows the model of "Where I'm From" by George Ella Lyon

So almost as plagerize-y as her husband?

tommyesq said...

I'd love to see the Biden children use this writing prompt.

Lurker21 said...

So I guess the newest class divide is between people who know the difference between Formica and lineoleum and people who don't. I am still on the bottom side of that one. Also on the bottom with the illiterates who still think the word is spelled "lineoleum." Or maybe I'm in the Class X that transcends the divides by not caring.

Nancy said...

I'm with omaha1. What makes this blather poetry?

Rocco said...

I'm from raw cookie dough, eaten off the linoleum counter in my mom's west side kitchen, raw goetta frying on the stove.
I'm from seven siblings, happy that I GOT MY OWN ROOM once the older ones moved out.
I'm from the bruised kid who - lacking female privilege - finally learned how to hit back at the bullies who lived on our block.
I'm from watching in shock at the idiots who would run red lights on hot July nights, causing opposing cars to crash into telephone poles.

ronetc said...

Early 1950s rural SW Missouri had linoleum counter tops--glued down with a metal band from the wood up to the height of the linoleum. Nobody cut on it, had a cutting board for that . . . but was easy to wash down. Probably did have asbestos in it. Also had asbestos house siding. May explain a lot.

John henry said...

What is the delio
With poetry
And poets
?
Why are
poets
held in higher regard than writers
of prose

Or songwriters?
Or tunesmiths?

Poetry is not
particularly
hard to do.

Just take a
block
of text and chop it up in improbably ways.

I like
poetry
and probably
read more poetry and have more books of poetry on my
shelves
than 95% of Americans.
I
Just don't
understand the mystique.

(The above comment identifies as poetry)

John Stop fascism, vote republican Henry

Kevin said...

Joe cries to Dr. Jill

Confused. Jackie. Jackie. Where is Jackie?

Where? She is still dead.

Stoutcat said...

Randomizer said...
There were no yellow street lights, but I don't blame Dr. Jill. It is only a poem, and her version sounds much better than talking about endless summers running through fog banks of DDT generated from the back of Army surplus Jeeps.

I'm a child of the 1960s and I remember summer nights after dinner when the bug sprayer open truck would drive slowly through the neighborhood spraying, as you said, a fog of DDT. We'd run out into the fog yelling with delight. I still remember the scent. The streetlights were not yellow.

We also had a linoleum countertop in the kitchen, and the refrigerator was in a little side closet next to the kitchen/

friscoda said...

so Joe lifts from Kinnock and Jill from someone else. Runs in the family I guess

Ceciliahere said...

Dr. Jill should be careful when she writes about running yellow lights. Didn’t Joe’s first wife die in a car accident after blowing through a stop sign?

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Paddy O,

So far as I can see, Ed.D. is also a three-year degree, just like J.D. I can't see any ginormous distinction between the two, except (as I said) that J.D. is a hell of a lot harder. I would like everyone in Congress who has a J. D. to style themselves "Doctor," so that Dr. Jill can understand where she actually stands in the D.C. hierarchy. Am I malicious? Well, maybe just a little.

If all I had to do to win a Ph.D. at UC/Berkeley was to write a "dissertation" like Dr. Jill's, I'd have had it twenty-five years ago. Alas, the Cal Music Dept. has somewhat higher standards . . .

Old and slow said...

None of you (or Dr. Jill) had a linoleum counter-top. Formica (brand name) or generic laminate, yes.

Rollo said...

I guess my version of Jill's poem got censored. I don't know if it was the father-daughter showers or the word "whoremonger," but I'm going to assume that you thought it was too good for hoi polloi and have made a copy to tape to your fridge for daily perusal and private delectation.

Paddy O said...

Michelle, almost every field has higher standards!

I don't know much about EdDs, except it's not rigorous, but I do think that unlike JDs a EdD student has to first have a Masters. So EdD is a professional doctorate like a Dmin or PsyD.

Law School is definitely more rigorous so in terms of difficulty closer to Med school but but that's 4 years.

I think it would be great for everyone in Congress to match vaunted titles!

Rev. Dr. Paddy

rehajm said...

At the family cabin there were counters with some roll of something over…plywood? I remember something like thick tin foil tacked to cover the seams…

The popcorn popper Ann had must have been a WhirleyPop or the like? As a kid we had one of those plug in hot plate deals with the domed orange lid. When it melted in the dishwasher we got one of those air poppers that ruined perfectly good corn. Yuk! I spent the next 4 decades searching for old time fresh movie theater popcorn. I’ve found it, only better. Special corn I can’t buy anymore, coconut oil, flavacol, and…a WhirleyPop.

John henry said...

Old and alone.

I know the difference between Formica(tm) and Linoleum(tm) and the old house I grew up in had Linoleum counter tops in the early 50s.then Formica when my parents redid it.

Navy metal desks still had Linoleum work surfaces into the 70s. Until a few years ago I had a small table with a linoleum top that I cumshawed from the navy back in the 70s.

I don't think linoleum had asbestos in it. "Vinyl-asbestos" floor tiles were still pretty common in the 70s.

It looks like they were still legal in the us until 1986

John stop fascism vote republican Henry

Tina Trent said...

Daddy was a bank vice president. Hubby got cheated on by Jill and Joe.

It's a chimera.

Bunkypotatohead said...

I really don't care. Do you?

Josephbleau said...

“I don't think linoleum had asbestos in it. "Vinyl-asbestos" floor tiles were still pretty common in the 70s.”

Some linoleum had asbestos. Linoleum lost its trademark in the ‘30s and became generic like Kleenex. I know this because a project I had as a young engineer was to determine the asbestos status of the company office building we were selling. The 12 x 12 floor tiles had asbestos and we tracked down the manufacturer, who was then out of business. The building was discounted by the removal cost. There was also asbestos in the mastic used to glue the tiles.

I was also told that the navy used linoleum tiles on ships to replace interior wood floors but after Pearl Harbor it was removed because it was still flammable. So I guess it did not have enough asbestos!

Assistant Village Idiot said...

My fifth son had the same assignment in 7th or 8th grade.