Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Osama bin Wordsworth

Turns out Osama bin Laden writes poetry.

"(Bin Laden) frequently uses mountains as metaphors," Miller told the newspaper. "As borders, they separate Arabs from each other but mountains can also help them from the temptations of the secular world."

Auden's remarks on Wordsworth, in the Letter to Lord Byron, seem relevant:

I’m also glad to find I’ve your authority
For finding Wordsworth a most bleak old bore,
Though I’m afraid we’re in a sad minority
For every year his followers get more,
Their number must lave doubled since the war.
They come in train-loads to the Lakes, and swarms
Of pupil-teachers study him in Storm’s...

The mountain-snob is a Wordsworthian fruit;
He tears his clothes and doesn’t shave his chin,
He wears a very pretty little boot,
He chooses the least comfortable inn;
A mountain railway is a deadly sin;
His strength, of course, is as the strength of ten men,
He calls all those who live in cities wen-men,

I’m not a spoil—sport, I would never wish
To interfere with anybody’s pleasures;
By all means climb, or hunt, or even fish,
All human hearts lave ugly little treasures;
But think it time to take repressive measures
When someone says, adopting the “I know" line,
The Good Life is confined above the snow-line.

2 comments:

Will121 said...

Its not at all unusual for Osama to write poetry. It is traditional in the Arab world for political matters to be discussed via poetry and has been for at many hundreds of years. The poet has a special and somewhat protected place in Arab culture and is afforded more leeway and freedom from censorship than prose writers. I recall that the Arab language edition of the Gulf Daily News used to have a poetry page that served a similar function to the letters to the editor page. Its likely that it still does, though I haven’t seen a GDN in years.

Sarang said...

Interesting, thanks! No poetry on GDN online, sadly.