A green thought in a green shade

I await Roger Kimball’s commentary on the official portraits of President and Mrs. Obama unveiled today for display in the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. Speaking as a layman, I can say that I find Obama’s portrait unflattering and unaesthetic, so perhaps it fits in some sense. I can also say that it put me in mind of Andrew Marvell’s great metaphysical poem “The Garden,” which I have not thought about for nearly 50 years. The unveiling event seemed to me a return to the ubiquitous world of identity politics, which I would like to be able to forget for 50 years. That world, I am afraid, is too much with us — permanently.

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