George W. Bush: Poet(aster)

I first found word about this while scanning the on-line edition of Denmark’s main Politiken newspaper. It seems that the American President missed his wife Laura rather badly while she was away this past week, visiting Paris and Moscow. So he wrote her a poem – and fear not, my friends, for it goes without saying that he wrote it not in Danish but in English, which is how it is reproduced in Politiken:

Dear Laura
Roses are red, violets are blue
oh my lump in the bed, I miss you
The distance, my dear, has been such a barrier,
next time you want adventure, just land on a carrier.

Two things about this:

1) At my first take, I was surprised on how little this has been reported in the press. From Politiken I resorted to Google’s news search engine, which told me that only one news-site in India and two in Australia have yet picked up this story;
2) Then again, maybe it didn’t need to be picked up. The quality of the verse won’t make too many of the Nobel judges regret that they were so fast in awarding the Literature Prize for this year to the South African writer J.M. Coetzee. And maybe intimate communication of this sort between a man and his wife should just be left alone. Except that Laura Bush herself brought it up, according to the Politiken article, at her appearance at a literature festival this past weekend at the Library of Congress.

Of course, the Danish newspaper can’t resist expanding on the “land on a carrier” reference: the President himself, as we all know, landed on a carrier last May 1 to announce that the War against Iraq was over. Since then “at least 85 American soldiers,” says Politiken, have been killed in combat in Iraq. At least the Danes are giving the President a break with their numbers; I’m pretty sure that that total by now is well above 85.

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