Twitter account makes Maine lawmaker an unintentional poet

Maine State Representative Jeffrey Timberlake, a Republican from Turner, is perhaps best known for his conservative politics and seat on the powerful Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee, but as of yesterday he may have a new claim to fame.

An anonymous Twitter account titled “Timberlake Poetry” has begun publishing snippets of the legislator’s social media posts, formatted into lines and stanzas.

They’re pretty great. Here’s my favorite so far:

It’s surprising how well Rep. Timberlake’s unique and sometimes inscrutable grammar works when formatted as poetry.

Reached by direct message, the author of the account declined to provide their identity, but did describe their intentions:

“I have always had a great respect for the unheralded rural poets of Androscoggin County and Timberlake stands above most with his innovative use of the language. Unbound by conventions of spelling or grammar, I find his oeuvre more compelling than a lot of the verse being churned through the machines of academia. Refreshing, insightful, and tinged with a Steinbeck-esque ennui. The world needs to be exposed to this man’s genius,” wrote the person behind the account.

Of course, in addition to the ennui, the poetic posts also provide a reminder that Timberlake, whose committee has ultimate authority over details of the state budget, sometimes seems to have difficulty writing understandable sentences.

Unfortunately, it seems we have just missed the deadline to nominate Timberlake for a term as Maine’s poet laureate.

Mike Tipping

About Mike Tipping

Mike is Maine's longest-writing political blogger and explores state politics and policy with a focus on analysis and explanation. He works at the Maine People's Alliance and Maine People's Resource Center.