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August 23, 2008


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Here's a short history quiz - who is the only President other than Jimmy Carter to publish a book of poetry?

Answer - James Garfield.

(I wonder how much of the Senate budget is set aside for Sudafed?)

Laura, I didn't know about Garfield's poetic penchant. Maybe that's why someone assassinated him.
Lincoln wrote poems, though not a whole book of them, and Theodore Roosevelt liked Edwin Arlington Robinson's stuff so much that he got the fellow a decent day job.
Quiz for quiz: Warren Harding is the star of a short (16-line) poem by one of our most celebrated American poets. Name poet and title of poem.

You've got me stumped. I even cheated and Googled it, and came up with nothing.

Answer, please!

Hi, LO. Ashbery's poem "Qualm" begins "Warren G. Harding invented the word 'normalcy' / And the lesser-known 'bloviate,' meaning, one imagines, / To spout, to spew aimless verbiage." The poem ends "Poor Warren."

"Poor Warren" indeed - he doesn't even get to be the worst ever President anymore. On the other hand, how many people have a John Ashbery poem written about them?

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I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman

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This Way Out

by T.P.Winch

Ringfinger was nervous
Pinky terrified
when they learned
that Hand might succumb
to the rule of Thumb.



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