Welcome to this month’s “A Favorite Poem” issue, in which I share my current favorite poem with you. This month’s will be a bit different, just because it’s spoken word from none other than Aman Batra, an Indian-American poet who’s works are nothing short of bold and unapologetic. The one I’m featuring today, “Election Night,” serves as an example.
Now, it’s hard to really pin down any of her verses in this spoken-word poem, not only because Batra spits them out so quickly, but also each burn she creates is so intense that by the time you put out one of them, she has already created three more. Metaphorically-speaking, of course…
As you can tell by the poem’s title, it refers to Batra’s frustration and anger with the U.S. presidential election results back in November, where a not-so-conspicuous man with a permanent scowl and a bird’s nest head of hair became the new POTUS. Drawing analogies between items like sangria and Florida’s unfortunate swing-state decision, along with her personal experience as a daughter of immigrants in an increasingly xenophobic society, Batra appears not only to show the helplessness she feels for herself and the country she grew up in, but also attempts to fight it, through her rapid-fire words as means of combating the injustice of it all.
Reading (or rather, watching the spoken word) Batra’s work definitely resonated in me when I stumbled upon it just a month or so ago, after being referred to a friend to check out her poetry. The passion, the cleverness she crafts in each verse is admirable, and while I don’t consider myself a huge fan of spoken word, she made me interested in it again (along with the likes of Sarah Kay and Fatimah Asghar). Plus, she actually graduated from the same university as me, which is so exciting to hear!
I encourage you to give “Election Night” a go. Other than that, have a good day!
— The Finicky Cynic
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