The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

6 December 2005

No acrostics in Islamabad

The government of Pakistan is removing a poem from English-language textbooks used in state schools because the first letter of each line, in sequence, spells out PRESIDENT GEORGE W BUSH.

An official for the Ministry of Education explains:

We have decided to delete the poem from the book, published by the National Book Foundation (NBF) and prescribed for the federal board students of intermediate [English]. It will be stretching the matter too far to assert that the poem was inserted in the book deliberately to enumerate the qualities of the American president.

In other words: "We don't know if it was intentional, but we're taking no chances."

Pakistan deregulated textbook publishing in 2004, opening the market to new publishers; the anonymous poem, titled "The Leader," appeared in a text that was approved earlier this year. It goes like this:

Patient and steady with all he must bear,
Ready to accept every challenge with care,
Easy in manner, yet solid as steel,
Strong in his faith, refreshingly real,
Isn't afraid to propose what is bold,
Doesn't conform to the usual mold,
Eyes that have foresight, for hindsight won't do,
Never back down when he sees what is true,
Tells it all straight, and means it all too,
Going forward and knowing he's right,
Even when doubted for why he would fight,
Over and over he makes his case clear,
Reaching to touch the ones who won't hear,
Growing in strength, he won't be unnerved,
Ever assuring he'll stand by his word,
Wanting the world to join his firm stand,
Bracing for war, but praying for peace,
Using his power so evil will cease:
So much a leader and worthy of trust,
Here stands a man who will do what he must.

Certainly the scansion could use a little help.

(Via Fark)

Posted at 1:43 PM to Dyssynergy

Removal sounds right to me! And anyone who doesn't agree can just Fark it.

Posted by: Winston at 8:03 PM on 6 December 2005

I have to wonder why this poem would end up in a book, anyway. It's terrible writing. It's riddled with cliches, uses a bland and predictable rythm, disregards meter completely, and its form doesn't reflect its content.

How horrible.

Posted by: jszczepaniak at 8:03 PM on 6 December 2005

Yeuch, indeed. Bush-worship and Bush-bashing are two sides of the same untalented coin.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at 9:06 PM on 6 December 2005