poetry

in which Larkin abetts the process of government

Once, at a bipartisan chiefs of staff retreat in Charlottesville, [Huck] Gutman stepped in to demonstrate the power of poetry. A training session had grown tense, recalls Stephen Ward, chief of staff for the Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.). Gutman rose, Ward says, and announced that he felt compelled to recite a poem. The 12-liner by Philip Larkin makes liberal use of a certain four-letter word that begins with the letter “f.” The chiefs of staff cracked up. Tension gone.

– From a Washington Post article on the poetry-propagating Huck Gutman, chief of staff to Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, who runs an email list sending out poems to Washingtonians. Via AJ.

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