Minnesota House Bill H0224

Yes, this is for real.

1.5 Section 1. [138.99] POET LAUREATE.

1.6 Subdivision 1. Appointment.
1.7 The Gov' shall appoint a state poet laureate,
1.8 Who shall serve for a four-year term.
1.9 Because this appointment will always be great,
1.10 There's no need for the Senate to confirm.
1.11 In appointing a poet for the public good,
1.12 And to ensure there's no unjust omission,
1.13 The governor shall consider, if he would
1.14 Thoughts of the Humanities Commission.

1.15 Subd. 2. Removal.

1.16 The poet will be free to write rhyming lines,
1.17 With removal only for cause,
1.18 But we trust that the bard will promptly resign,
1.19 If the verse reads as badly as laws.

1.20 Subd. 3. Compensation.
1.21 'Twould be fair to provide some just recompense
1.22 As reward for the poet's tribulations,
1.23 But because at this time we haven't the cents
1.24 We're afraid there is no compensation.
1.25 But we ask as the poet travels the state,
1.26 And the people their ears they lend,
2.1 That our learned Commission take the position
2.2 To provide the poor poet a stipend.

2.3 Subd. 4. Gifts and grants.

2.4 To provide the support that needs to come
2.5 To support our new laureate,
2.6 Gifts and grants received of a generous sum,
2.7 We hereby appropriate.
A poem by Mayakovksy, former poet laureate of the USSR:

sticks in my teeth too,
and I'd rather
romances for you-
more profit in it
and more charm.

But I subdued
setting my heel
on the throat
of my own song."

Vladimir Mayakovsky

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