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There once was a House Bill from Michigan…

February 15, 2007

The Michigan House of Reps has just introduced a bill creating a poet laureateship for the state. One can only heartily approve – while hoping that none of the drafters of the bill, whose sentiments are more praiseworthy than their scanning, becomes the first named to that post.

H.F. No. 224, as introduced – 85th Legislative Session (2007-2008) Posted on Jan 18, 2007

A bill for an act relating to the state; appointing a poet laureate; appropriating gift or grant money received; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 138.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1. [138.99] POET LAUREATE.

Subdivision 1. Appointment.

The Gov’ shall appoint a state poet laureate,
Who shall serve for a four-year term.
Because this appointment will always be great,
There’s no need for the Senate to confirm.

In appointing a poet for the public good,
And to ensure there’s no unjust omission,
The governor shall consider, if he would
Thoughts of the Humanities Commission.

Subd. 2. Removal.
The poet will be free to write rhyming lines,
ith removal only for cause,
But we trust that the bard will promptly resign,
If the verse reads as badly as laws.
Subd. 3. Compensation.
‘Twould be fair to provide some just recompense
As reward for the poet’s tribulations,
But because at this time we haven’t the cents
We’re afraid there is no compensation.
But we ask as the poet travels the state,
And the people their ears they lend,
That our learned Commission take the position
To provide the poor poet a stipend.

Subd. 4. Gifts and grants.
To provide the support that needs to come
To support our new laureate,
Gifts and grants received of a generous sum,
We hereby appropriate.

(h/t to Nina Katerina of Salon Tabletalk)

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