Some of you may know Robert Pinsky as one of the most successful Poet Laureates of the United States; some of you may know him as a ceaseless champion of poets and poetry (not least as the poetry editor at Slate); some of you may know him as a considerable poet in his own right. But few of you know him as a Casio keyboard crooner.
Sit through this JBooks.com fundraising set-up. It’s worth the 70-second wait to see Pinsky’s musical Spiel:
The editor of JBooks.com, Ken Gordon, said the plea is meant to bring a little levity — not to mention some star power — to the “intrinsically unpleasant” nature of the fundraising appeal. Gordon told the Forward:
No one wants to do The Big Ask — and few people (fewer all the time) want pitches hurled their way. You have to mock it a little. To admit your discomfort. … We went with video because it’s so immediate and easy to distribute. And we decided to go in a musical direction because, well, how often do you get to see a former Poet Laureate play a Casio and improvise some lines about a Jewish-books Web site?