Here's hoping Obama would forego the dreadful Angelou at his inauguration. But the poetic bond to whoever occupies the White House is strong:

George Washington scribbled some wistful, angst-ridden love poems as a teenager (“From your bright sparkling Eyes, I was undone”), and Jimmy Carter published a complete volume in 1995 (“well meaning” and “mediocre”, sighed Michiko Kakutani in the New York Times). Abraham Lincoln, perhaps the most melancholic president, wrote some rather morbid poetry: “O death! Thou awe-inspiring prince/That keepst the world in fear.”

George Bush has not published any poems himself, though many consider his unique turns of phraseor “Bushisms”to be pure poetic genius ...

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