Poetry Thursday: Words We Love, Hate

This week's Poetry Thursday assignment was to write a poem with words we love or hate or both.

Just to goof on this idea, I decided to stitch something of a found poem with segments of President Bush's news conference in Vienna.

Burning Bush

. . . from President Bush's remarks Wednesday, June 21, 2006 in Vienna at a news conference with Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel and European Union President Jose Manual Barroso

We did have a very engaged and fruitful conversation. As we should.
We talked about democracy and new democracies.
We talked about Lebanon.
We talked about Israel and Palestine.
We talked about the Balkans.
We talked about development and prosperity.
Listen, we're trading partners.
And we talked about some of the impediments to capital flows.

Obviously, the Doha round of the WTO was a tough subject.

But the good news is that we were very frank in our discussions.
I mean, the Europeans have problems with the U.S. position.
We have problems with the European position.
We both have problems with the G-20 position.

We got to diversify away from oil.
The E.U. needs to get diversified, as well.

I'd like to end Guantanamo.
I'd like it to be over with.

And step one of achieving a diplomatic success is to share a goal.
And so the second phase of a diplomatic strategy is to have a common front.
And so we've been working with our partners, particularly in that part of the world, to say to the North Koreans that,
“This is not the way you conduct business in the world.
This is not the way that peaceful nations conduct their affairs.”

I was pleased to see that the Chinese spoke out to the North Korean government
and suggested they not fire whatever it is on their missile.

You know, people say what they want to say.

* * * * *

And for a different set of words, let me share a paragraph from Virginia Woolf's 1925 essay, "On Being Ill":

There is, let us confess it (and illness is the great confessional), a childish outspokenness in illness; things are said, truths blurted out, which the cautious respectability of health conceals. About sympathy for example—we can do without it. That illusion of a world so shaped that it echoes every groan, of human beings so tied together by common needs and fears that a twitch at one wrist jerks another, where however strange your experience other people have had it too, where however far you travel in your own mind someone has been there before you—is all an illusion. We do not know our own souls, let alone the souls of others. Human beings do not go hand in hand the whole stretch of the way. There is a virgin forest in each; a snowfield where even the print of birds’ feet is unknown. Here we go alone, and like it better so. Always to have sympathy, always to be so accompanied, always to be understood would be intolerable. But in health the genial pretense must be kept up and the effort renewed—to communicate, to civilise, to share, to cultivate the desert, educate the native, to work together by day and by night to sport. In illness this make-believe ceases. Directly the bed is called for, or, sunk deep among pillows is one chair, we raise our feet even an inch above the ground on another, we cease to become soldiers in the army of the upright; we become deserters. They march to battle. We float with the sticks on the stream; helter-skelter with the dead leaves on the lawn, irresponsible and disinterested and able, perhaps for the first time in years, to look round, to look up—to look, for example, at the sky.

Dear reader, I'll leave it to you to guess which I prefer.


woman wandering said…
I enjoyed what you did with Bush's words ... :)
wendylou who? said…
I just watched bruce almighty, from bed, yesterday...you see I was not "well"...ok, damm it...I just needed to lay down and be alone!! Bruce say I belive...I have no bird I have no bush...God's taken my BIRD AND BUSH!!" God took bush aloooong time ago....Can't the vultures pick up the rest of the mess so we can move on....

Thanks for readin my mind this week...and welcome back
Oh, Jim! I love them BOTH. Don't think much of "W" personally, but love Virginia.
RavenGrrl said…
Jim, I can surely guess which words you prefer, but I have to say I like the way you have used words that usually make me angry and frustrated and, oh, like, well -- just like blowing up(!) -- you have made something funny of that guy's words. (that's being kind, the way I put it. I would have written something else, but then ... no need to get all frustrated again)

If I had to make a list of all the words I hate, political double-speak words would make up the majority. argh!

And Ms. Wolfe -- love her descriptive language. This line: We float with the sticks on the stream; helter-skelter with the dead leaves on the lawn,

sigh ...

great contribution to this week's poetry thursday prompt. I, too, am glad you're back.
Neasa said…
Not a hard guess at all! Very creative.
January said…
Of the words I dislike, Bush is at the top! Great use of the poltical speak. I'm a big fan of found poems.

The Woolfe piece fits the times.

Nice pieces Jim!
Heather said…
I agree, this was a great idea and you chose the public figure who I think of as having the LEAST articulate command of the english language AND the person who I think of as being most capable of putting into words the thoughts, experiences, and facets of reality that I didn't even have any idea were there to articulate in the first place. I love your choices.
chiefbiscuit said…
The first certainly shows up Bush for what he really is. And VW is great!
sheela said…
oh, that mrs woolf really can write! :)

'We float with the sticks on the stream; helter-skelter with the dead leaves on the lawn, irresponsible and disinterested and able, perhaps for the first time in years, to look round, to look up—to look, for example, at the sky.' - beautiful.
Tammy said…
Love the creative Bush piece :) The next poem got me...dah! I've never read it, but I soooo get it! Thank you for choosing this :)
jim said…
Thanks to all!

Far too easy, though, I must confess to find the unintentional and somewhat frightful poetry in one of Bush's performances.

Tammy: I can't recommend the full Woolf essay, "On Being Ill," enough. There's a handsome reprint edition of it published by Paris Press (with a very fine intro by Hermione Lee, whose biography of Woolf is incredibly balanced and thorough). Put it on your birthday wish list!
thanks for stopping by my blog.

Very creative. :-)