Thursday, December 01, 2005

What Sharon Olds wrote to Laura Bush.

I don't usually write about politics here, but thought the readership of the Store would be edified by the following:

[at the conclusion of the letter she wrote, declining the First Lady's invitation to attend the National Book Festival:]

I tried to see my way clear to attend, as
an American who loves her country and
its principles and its writing--against this
undeclared and devastating war. But I could
not face the idea of breaking bread with you. I
knew that if I sat down to eat with you, it would
feel to me as if I were condoning what I see to
be the wild, highhanded actions of the Bush
Administration. What kept coming to the fore
of my mind was that I would be taking food from
the hand of the First Lady who represents the
Administration that unleashed this war and that
wills its continually permitting "extraordinary
rendition": flying people to other countries
where they will be tortured for us. So many
Americans who had felt pride in our country
now feel anguish and shame, for the current
regime of blood, wounds and fire. I thought of
the clean linens at your talbe, the shining knives
and the flames of the candles, and I could not
stomach it.


  1. Yes, I read the letter somewhere on-line. Gotta love Sharon Olds. I think my first really favorite poem is "First Love" by her. I also like how she makes fun of herself, sometimes. Anyway, I adore her for sticking it to Laura. Now who's going to stick it to Lynne? Anyone?

  2. I love 'Sex Without Love' also. Sometimes I get sick of her, but you know, I kind of like how earnest she is. So screw the naysayers.

    I say you and I should write a collaborative canzone sticking it to Lynne. Evidence that we're the highest flower of Western Civ, and we think she sucks. A double dis.

  3. Very nice move. Reminds me how I felt about my country during "an evening of conscience" last night--see my recent post.



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