Monday, 12 September 2011

Jackie, JFK and Poetry

On this day (September 12th) in 1953, US Senator John Fitzgerald Kennedy married Jacqueline Bouvier.

Despite being publicly humiliated by her husband’s incessant womanizing, they remained married until that fateful November day ten years later, when the then President Kennedy was assassinated, by ‘a lone gunman’ (yeah right), in Dallas, Texas.

Despite her reputation for being nothing more than a vacuous clothes-horse, Jackie Kennedy was, in fact, more cultured than she was ever given credit for. A lover of poetry, her favourite poets included Hughes, Shakespeare, WB Yeats, ee cummings, and Emily Dickinson. She was also well-versed in Homer and the Greek mythologies.

Before her marriage, she wrote a poem called Meanwhile in Massachusetts. The subject was her husband-to-be, and the poem was composed while she watched Jack walking along the sea-shore, “with the wind and the sea / And all the things he was going to be".

And, as this excerpt shows, it proved to be eerily prophetic
"…He would find love
He would never find peace
For he must go seeking
The Golden Fleece…."
For the full transcript of this poem, and other poetry of Jackie Kennedy Onassis, click here:

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