Academy Award-winning screenwriter Ethan Coen has asked President Donald Trump to name him Poet Laureate of the United States.
Coen, who shares two Oscars with brother Joel for their screenplays “Fargo” and “No Country For Old Men,” appealed to Trump in an open letter on the Huffington Post which jokingly trashed the Obama administration’s laureate Juan Felipe Herrera.
“The Obama poet laureates were, quite frankly, a disaster. Under their leadership, very weak, much American poetry has failed even to rhyme,” Coen said.
“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,” he continued.
Coen goes on to address what many speculate is a sore spot within the Trump administration — its contentious relationship with the show business elite.
“You need more than Scott Baio!” Coen wrote of Trump’s more obscure supporters.
“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 said.
While the tone of the letter is tongue-in-cheek, Coen has been walking his talk and writing poetry — rhymes that slam Trump, but still.
“There’s cotton candy on his head / And hookers pee on him in bed,” read an original Coen poem called “Be Fair,” which was published in January.
The Coen brothers most recently polished a script for Universal’s remake of the Al Pacino classic “Scarface,” and wrote George Clooney’s upcoming directorial effort at Paramount “Suburbicon.”
Read a portion of Coen’s pitch below, and the full letter at HuffPo:
Dear President Trump:
I ask to be considered for the position of Poet Laureate of the United States.
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. 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.
Another reason? Since your election I have supported you in verse. My poem “Be Fair!” was a plea to all would-be Trump-dumpers to give you a fair shake. You should be given a chance to “strut your stuff” as American president; I should be given a chance to “strut my stuff” as United States Poet Laureate. Together, let’s make American poetry great again! Let’s put the chicken back in chicken dinner!
President Trump, many see in me a latter-day Wallace Stevens. He was a poet who made his living in the insurance business; I also will no doubt be remembered as a poet but earn my daily bread by other means. I am a writer, producer, and director in the movie industry, very widely respected — though perhaps not widely enough! Joking, but my point is that in making me Poet Laureate you would build a bridge to the Hollywood community.
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.