Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Seasonal Meter Readers: Bartlet's Book of Iambic Verse

In Season 1, Episode 10 of Aaron Sorkin's television drama The West Wing, President Josiah Bartlet takes several members of his staff Christmas shopping at a rare book store in D.C. Walking down an aisle with best friend and Chief of Staff Leo McGarry, Bartlet finds a book he recognizes, and the following exchange takes place.

President Bartlet: Ooh! The Fables of Phaedrus—1886, first edition, red leather label, gilt lettering, engraved frontis. Phaedrus, you know—who was a slave but later granted his freedom by Augustus—wrote his animal fables in iambic verse.

Chief of Staff McGarry: Well, nothing says Christmas like animal fables in iambic verse.

President Bartlet: That's what I say.

"Poetry & Popular Culture" couldn't agree more. Season's greetings, all.