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Calvin Trillin

Verse Columnist

Calvin Trillin, the author of Random House’s Deciding the Next Decider: The 2008 Presidential Election in Rhyme, is The Nation‘s “deadline poet.” He has been acclaimed in fields of writing that are remarkably diverse. As someone who has published solidly reported pieces in The New Yorker for forty years, he has been called “perhaps the finest reporter in America.” His wry commentary on the American scene and his books chronicling his adventures as a “happy eater” have earned him renown as “a classic American humorist.” His About Alice—a 2007 New York Times best seller that was hailed as “a miniature masterpiece”—followed two other best-selling memoirs, Remembering Denny and Messages from My Father.


  • Science and Health November 10, 2000

    Rare Good News

    The Journal of Nutrition wrote about
    Some researchers who tested chocolate out.
    It may help stave off heart attacks, they claim.
    Red wine, we've known for years, can do the same.
    Without the need of any doctor's urging,
    I feel a healthy diet plan emerging.

    Calvin Trillin

  • Political Figures November 2, 2000

    Nader Voters: An Explanation

    They thought they'd vote the Democratic slate,
    But somehow felt they needed something more.
    They finally found a candidate who was
    More sanctimonious than Albert Gore.

    Calvin Trillin

  • Election 2000 October 26, 2000

    Whose Side’s Jesus On?

    Gore says he prays when crises loom.
    He asks just what would Jesus do.
    And then he does that very thing
    (If focus groups would do it too).

    So whose side's Jesus on, folks? Whose side's Jesus on?
    Who's got the Savior's brawn, folks? Yes, whose side's Jesus on?

    And Bush says faith-based treatment's best
    For those adrift or drug-addicted.
    Salvation's just for Christians, though.
    No Jews. Yes, heaven's still restricted.

    So whose side's Jesus on, folks? Yes, whose side's Jesus on?
    Who's got the Savior's brawn, folks? Yes, whose side's Jesus on?

    The other side, warns either side,
    Would of the Savior's blessings rob us.
    And Lieberman? Well, he can say
    That Jesus wouldn't work on Shabbes.

    So whose side's Jesus on, folks? Yes, whose side's Jesus on?
    The battle lines are drawn, folks. Yes, whose side's Jesus on?

    Calvin Trillin

  • Election 2000 October 19, 2000

    Trick or Treat

    The voters hear on Halloween
    The country's doorbell ring.
    There's Bush dressed up as real adult
    And Gore as human being.

    Calvin Trillin

  • Global Organizations October 12, 2000

    On the Events in Serbia

    It took them thirteen years to ditch
    Old Slobodan Milosevic.
    Now people see a new day dawn,
    But notice that he's still not gone.

    Calvin Trillin


  • Global Organizations October 5, 2000

    On the Fading of the Euro Dream

    Momentum for the euro wanes.
    The krone is preferred by Danes.
    And recent surveys all have found
    That British voters love their pound.
    But, seeing this through New World eyes,
    Why is it such a big surprise?
    Imagine how we Yanks would holler
    If someone tried to take our dollar!
    You'd see a war like Vietnam,
    But this time we would use the bomb.

    Calvin Trillin

  • Political Figures September 28, 2000

    Newt, Still

    When he was king, the Democrats
    Saw Newt as all that's rotten.
    Though he's long gone, they're making sure
    He doesn't get forgotten.

    On every ad, they talk of Newt's
    Disasters and venality.
    Yes, Newt can rest assured he'll have
    A certain immortality.

    Calvin Trillin

  • Politics June 29, 2000

    A Short History of Bill Richardson’s Campaign for the Vice Presidential Nomination

    What Bill was asked to do Bill always did.
    There was no better soldier on the scene.
    So why at Veep time won't he get the bid?
    'Twas lost behind the copying machine.

    Calvin Trillin

  • Politics June 15, 2000

    Oh, Say It Isn’t So, Perot

    You really think you're going to go--
    Just take your dough and leave the show?
    Oh, well. I guess we'll see you, Ross.
    We'll manage, somehow, with the loss.

    Calvin Trillin