Thursday, 20 May 2010

Article | First Things

Article | First Things: "Astrue"
Michael Astrue, head of the United States Social Security Administration, has been outed as the poet AM Juster. The author of the article seems surprised as if this were incompatible with life as a public service mandarin. I was differently moved. Where are the poets in our civil service in New Zealand? We had one who was distracted by a flash of cleavage, but we have no record of whether this moved him to verse, or moved him at all for that matter. The Dominion Post (and this can only happen in Wellington) runs little potted biographies of the senior civil servants, some of whom do have unusual hobbies. But we have no poets, which may explain the unending tedium of most of what is produced from official circles. Perhaps we could have a sonnet about liquor from Sir Geoffrey Palmer, a paen to wine perhaps, or a ballad from the Chief of General Staff about the glories of Afghanistan.

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