October 31, 2012
Did Obama Write Anti-Semitic Poetry?
As a 19-year-old sophomore, Barack Obama had two poems -- "Underground" and "Pop" -- published under his name in the spring 1981 edition of Occidental College's literary magazine, Feast. If Obama wrote any other poems after that, they have not emerged. "Pop," the more sophisticated of the two poems, has attracted the most attention. As I argued in my book, Deconstructing Obama, "Pop" dissects Obama's relationship with his communist mentor, Frank Marshall Davis, and was most likely written by Davis himself, a skilled poet. "Underground" struck me as Obama's own handiwork. It is as different in style and substance from "Pop" as Obama's early published essays are from his memoir, Dreams from My Father, with which he also had help. "Republishing this poem may have been the cruelest swipe an otherwise friendly media took at Obama during the campaign," I wrote dismissively in my book. Jim O'Hagan, who has made a study of the poem, believes that I may have been too...(Read Full Article)