“It Could Be Verse”

Maureen Dowd confines herself to only occasional shots at the Administration today, her main subject being poetry.
We have delved into poetry a couple of times, with uniformly awful results. (A site search would turn up anything we haven’t deleted from the archives.) But it’s good to see we aren’t any worse than the Presidential candidates. Turns out that some of the candidates–all on the Democratic side, coincidentally–are would-be poets. The best is this effort by John Kerry, who is trying to pass himself off as a deer hunter to balance his poetic side:
“I had a talk with a deer today
we met upon the road some way . . . between his frequent snorts
He asked me if I sought his pelt
cause if I did he said he felt
quite out of sorts.”
In a rare burst of candor, Kerry says he consders his efforts “doggerel,” not poetry.
If you’ve forgotten why the more people learned about Gary Hart the less they liked him, he has this to say: “Political journalists wanted to put you in a box. They thought I was strange because I was caught reading Tolstoy and Kierkegaard.” Actually, Gary, I think people considered you strange because you said “Go ahead, try to catch me,” and then had pictures taken of yourself on board the Monkey Business with Donna Rice on your lap. Oh, and don’t forget the one of you on the stage, belting out a rock and roll tune. But don’t blame yourself, Gary; everyone knows Americans are narrow-minded.
The poems are all bad, but the worst is by French Foreign Minister Dominique Galouzeau de Villepin. Must be the translation. Although I’d be curious to know what French phrase translates as “prosterned in the raucousness of the gongs.”
If Dowd’s column has a point beyond humor, it is that: “It’s risky in politics, showing your feminine side.” Maybe so. But this strikes me less as femininity than as pretension, along with the quest for self-knowledge that seems to be eternal among Democratic Presidential candidates. This gang seems ready to pick up where Al Gore left off. And somehow I don’t think that’s quite what the American people will be looking for next year.

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