I’ve been watching video clips from press conferences on the débacle in Afghanistan, led by Jen Psaki, Antony Blinken, and other flunkies of the Biden administration. I can’t tolerate much of that stuff, and usually only watch a little bit, but I read most of the transcripts. And, like most people, I have come to the conclusion that the administration’s spokescreatures are totally divorced from reality. Maybe they’re on drugs; who knows?
While reading a transcript this morning I was reminded of the last two lines of the poem “Crow’s Fall” by the late Ted Hughes (from Crow, 1971). I hadn’t read the poem for a long time, so I rolled the big ladder over to the poetry section of the library here at Schloss Bodissey, climbed up to the top, and pulled down my ancient copy of the book, which is now worn and bedraggled and held together by scotch tape.
The poem turns out to be fairly apropos, and also politically incorrect. And others in the book are even more triggering — “Two Eskimo Songs”, for example. If Mr. Hughes were alive today, he would surely be cancelled. And they may yet dig him up so that his corpse can be publicly shunned.
by Ted Hughes
When Crow was white he decided the sun was too white.
He decided it glared much too whitely.
He decided to attack it and defeat it.
He got his strength flush and in full glitter.
He clawed and fluffed his rage up.
He aimed his beak direct at the sun’s centre.
He laughed himself to the centre of himself
At his battle cry trees grew suddenly old,
But the sun brightened—
It brightened, and Crow returned charred black.
He opened his mouth but what came out was charred black.
“Up there,” he managed,
“Where white is black and black is white, I won.”
I noticed in the credits at the front of the book that this poem was first published in The New Yorker, of all places.