Thursday, 24 May 2012

Presidential Poetry

This sounds intriguing...

Paul J. Ferlazzo has written a book entitled Poetry and the American Presidency, focusing on American leaders and their love for reading and writing poetry. John Adams never failed to carry a poetry book in his pocket, and told his son, future president John Quincy Adams "you will never be alone with a poet in your pocket." JQA wrote over 350 poems; Abraham Lincoln and Jimmy Carter often penned a short poem, and Woodrow Wilson and George Washington liked to write love poetry. Theodore Roosevelt was so fascinated by American poetry that he raised money to help financially struggling poets. Harry Truman carried a poem in his wallet, and Herbert Hoover declared that "perhaps what this country needs is a great poem - something to lift people out of fear and selfishness." Also, JFK said that "when power leads man towards arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations." Ferlazzo argues that "an appreciation of poetry reveals a love of language...[and] the individual who reads or writes poetry is willing to explore the emotional side of life." Because poetry is so interpretative, it is incredible to study these poems and try to understand the meaning behind them. Who knew poetry was such a massive influence on the American presidency?

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