Election Night Haiku Slam

Way back when—okay, November 2008—one of the ways I dealt with my extreme anxiety about the Presidential election was to write haiku. This year, to far greater reach and effect, Elinor Lipman did so with humor-filled ditties about the campaign, which were posted daily on Twitter and for many the brightest spot in their mornings. Many of them can be found in Tweet Land of Liberty. She’s resting now, having completed her project. I got this little message on election night from my wonderful writer pal, Lauren Yaffe:

Hey there, Sarah B.

Let’s haiku Obama in

As we did 0-8

How could I say no to that? I couldn’t. What follows is a conversation of sorts, via haiku, that took place on Tuesday evening. Our sharing of words made the wait go faster. We had fun! I’ve culled just some of our poems here because the trail stretched long. You can find Lauren’s complete set here and mine here. Hers are regular type; mine are italicized. There’s a last one on my Tumblr—complete with photo of everyone’s favorite math geek to crush out on, Nate (538) Silver. If you just need to hang on to a little more feel-good, I recommend Amy Davidson’s essay on the Malia Generation—a musing about why Obama won—in this week’s New Yorker (online, at least). Oh—and YAY!

Mses Warren and

Baldwin have made my heart soar

The smart women rule.

Pennsylvania rocks!

City of Brotherly Love

protects sisters’ rights.

Oh well Romney won

Utah. But he did not win

Quote unquote home states.

One seventy-three

electoral votes now yours.

Barack, you’ll win it!

I really believe

Female senators-elect

Should thank Hillary.

A cheer from the crowd

CNN calls it: we win!

My hope is renewed!

To all those people

Who stood in line for hours


Aretha sings it:


It’s women who win.

White boys’ votes alone

No longer guarantee the

Presidential prize.

David Brooks waxing

eloquent on Obama.

NOW you like him, pal!

Harder won, this race

Harder times, these times. That’s why

Victory’s so sweet.

Michelle gets applause.

History’s best First Lady.

With the buffest arms.

Thinking Mitt Romney

Wasted a lot of money.

Poor investment made.

The crowd cheers harder.

The Obamas are coming!

“Signed, sealed, delivered…!”

Just to remind you

Next Supreme Court Justices

Obama’s to name.

“A vision we share.

That is where we need to go…


A freaking good day

To be gay, to fill binders

To believe in hope.

Confetti falling,

fluttering red white and blue.

I will sleep happy.

Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

Author: Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser's work has appeared on the New York Times, Salon, and the Manifest Station amongst other places. Find her on Twitter @standshadows

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