Tuesday, September 27, 2005
"Like, I'm getting all misty."
The First Lady as a Beat Poet
Poor Laura Bush just cannot hit the right groove with many of our nation’s literary and artistic minds.
This past Sunday’s National Book Festival, conflicting with the very successful 150,00 person anti war protest, was another in what is becoming an annual slap by some of America’s literary set to the fresh pink face of former librarian Laura Bush’s much desired Poetry Symposium.
This year’s literary protest was soft-pedaled by none other than the infamous author of the New York Times’ White House Letter, Elizabeth Bumiller, as carried by the International Herald Tribune:
There was no escaping the reality that Iraq intruded on Bush's admired book festival…A handful of the 80 authors, poets and illustrators invited to participate in the festival's events declined a breakfast with Laura Bush at the White House and a dinner with her at the Library of Congress, saying they were too opposed to her husband to go.
Sharon Olds, winner of a National Book Critics Circle Award and a professor of creative writing at New York University, publicly rejected the First lady’s poetic advances in this week’s The Nation:
I tried to see my way clear to attend the festival in order to bear witness…against this undeclared and devastating war. But I could not face the idea of breaking bread with you. I knew that if I sat down to eat with you, it would feel to me as if I were condoning what I see to be the wild, highhanded actions of the Bush Administration…I thought of the clean linens at your table, the shining knives and the flames of the candles, and I could not stomach it.
At the National Book Festival’s Authors’ Breakfast Mrs. Bush said, “Great books have brought many people through difficult times. A story's setting -- real or imagined -- can provide a much-needed escape.”
Over these next few years, as all Sunday’s protests have indicated, Mrs. Bush, emotionally alone, is going to require the escape services of many “great books”.
Modified Image: Google, The-Declaration.com