By K Waldman
A few days after the November 8, 2016 United States presidential election, Ken Waldman considered Donald Trump's surprise victory, and wrote the sentence: "You make George W. seem a statesman—this your opening trick," and made it the first line and a half of a sonnet he titled, "To Donald Trump, from Baltimore." Waldman wrote another Trump sonnet a few days later, then the following week wrote one more. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas 2016 he wrote an additional 68. 41 were in the voice of President-elect Donald Trump. 28 others were addressed directly to him. There's also an opening and closing sonnet. The result is a detailed examination of the first fifty days of Donald Trump's ascension to the highest office in the United States. It's a worthy sequel to Waldman's AS THE WORLD BURNS, a collection that took on the presidency of George W. Bush. About that book, the Irish poet and critic Kevin Higgins wrote in nthposition.com: "More than poetry: they are documents which will help others, 50 or 100 years from now, come to grips with what is was like to be in the world in the aftermath of 9/11…It is a rare but great thing to see a contemporary poet working in the satiric tradition of Dryden, Pope, and Swift…It achieves the almost impossible by forcing the reader to come to terms with George W. Bush, the three dimensional human being."