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Testaments: Jimmy Carter

This week, John Peeler presents "Testaments," a series of poems that take the form of valedictory statements by each of the postwar presidents, in the poetic manner of Edgar Lee Masters' Spoon River Anthology.


Jimmy Carter

After Watergate,
the people wanted moral strength.
I was a Sunday School teacher,
a governor, a brilliant smile.
Morality is hard abroad
when tyrants are our closest friends,
rebels, neither Jefferson nor Paine.
Ortega and Khomeini:
I cleared the way for them,
got the hostage crisis.
I later got the Nobel Prize:
a great ex-President,
but too late wise.

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