Opinion poetry by Times readers

Rhyme and reason

Anthony Russo / For The Times


Who knew?

When we put out a call for Op-Ed poetry, we had no idea how many budding poets were out there. But by the time the Aug. 16 deadline rolled around, we'd gotten more than 1,500 submissions, many of them including multiple poems. There was even one, by E. Milton Wilson of Claremont, addressing the plight of the opinion editors: "The deadline nears. The poets have spoke. Editors wish about now it had all been a joke!"


But we have now read every single poem that was submitted, and from them we have, with great difficulty, culled this batch for publication. If you're reading this in the paper, check our website,, for additional selections we couldn't fit on the page.

How do you judge opinion poetry? That's something we grappled with. Literary quality was important. But so were newsworthiness. Clarity of argument. Humor didn't hurt either. The poems we selected are certainly representative of what we received, and we think each of them makes a strong point with eloquence — and sometimes with wit.

We hope you enjoy them.

—Sue Horton, Susan Brenneman and Cherry Gee

Being Arab

A Second Shot

Climate of Sorrow

The Fat Ladies Sing

Family Fight

The Free Refill Policy Has Been Rescinded

Déjà Vu in the Homeland

The Doorman

My Sister's Wedding



Adjunct Plight

Relief Within Reach


Crossing the Street in Laguna Beach

One Hundred Thousand

A Haiku

Untitled Haiku




Untitled (with apologies to Robert Frost)


Please Please Stop the Madness-Driven Violence

A Voter's Prayer (an ode to Anthony Weiner and associates)

They're Called Mosquitoes

When Words Collide

Domestic Advance

Undocumented Dancers

A Prayer to Bill Gates


Torn Meniscus

L.A. Veggie (W)Rap

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