Filmmaker wants to 'make American poetry great again'

By Oliver Gettell
March 09, 2017 at 07:44 PM EST
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Ethan Coen wants to make American poetry great again, and he’s asking President Trump for help.

On Thursday the Fargo and No Country for Old Men co-filmmaker published a satirical letter on the Huffington Post petitioning Trump to make him the next poet laureate of the United States.

Coen, who has repeatedly mocked Trump in verse since the eve of his inauguration, wrote, “American poetry should enhance America’s greatness, but let’s be honest, Mr. President: lately the poems have been not so great. The Obama poet laureates were, quite frankly, a disaster.”

Channeling Trump’s rhetorical style, Coen continued, “Under their leadership, very weak, much American poetry has failed even to rhyme. That’s like a chicken dinner failing to have chicken. My poetry, on the other hand, always rhymes — and that’s one reason why, when current Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera is deported, I should be considered to replace him.”

Coen also claimed he could help shore up Trump’s support in Hollywood: “Mr. President, you need more than Scott Baio! We hear so much these days about bridges and walls. Let me be your bridge! The arts are not just Rembrandt and Meryl Streep.”

He signed off, “Mr. President, I respect you, I support you, I implore you: please support me. Read my poetry! Make me Poet Laureate! You could do verse!”

Coen did not mention that the U.S. poet laureate is normally appointed by the librarian of Congress.