Time Essay: America Needs a Poet Laureate, Maybe

Theoretically, all of the pinwheeling spectacle and clamor of American politics ought to be raw material for an art form a little more complex and reflective than television. Mao Tse-tung, for example, interminably turned his Chinese struggles into poetry. But American politics and poetry have never been able to form a lasting relationship. Oh, Ted Kennedy quotes the passage of Tennyson that his brothers admired, and Eugene McCarthy likes to write verse, often of the pointlessly enigmatic kind ("I am alone/ In the land of the aardvarks . . ."). John Kennedy had...

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