Colonoscopy Sonnet

By Sandra M. Gilbert b. 1936
On the news tonight, a presidential
colonoscopy — a tale of   how
for three whole hours the chief  exec of   trouble
handed trouble to his vice (although
no double trouble came), but then no more
details revealed: no bacterial armies
multiplying in a flare of  war
among kingly polyps & no kinky creases.

Welcome to the presidential gut,
bubble gum pink, not a spot of  shit
(after a quick administrative cleanout)
where global decisions stir & sit in state,
       and the first physician’s mighty pointer traces
       only microdrops of   blood in secret places.

Source: Poetry (May 2008).


This poem originally appeared in the May 2008 issue of Poetry magazine

May 2008
 Sandra M. Gilbert


Though widely acclaimed as a leading feminist literary critic, Sandra M. Gilbert is also a renowned poet who has published numerous collections of poetry, including the Patterson Prize winning Ghost Volcano (1997), and Kissing the Bread: New and Selected Poems 1969–1999 (2000), which won an American Book Award. Recent collections include Belongings (2006) and Aftermath: Poems (2011). Gilbert’s poetry is known for its erudition, . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Health & Illness, Social Commentaries, History & Politics


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