Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.
That was Shelley. And it’s certainly true of Hillary Clinton. Adversity has melted the ice queen. Newspapers headlined how she choked back tears when a woman asked her how she gets through her gruelling campaign. "It’s not easy," she said. "And I couldn’t do it if I didn’t passionately believe…"
"At this point she stopped, too choked up to continue, as the audience applauded," reported NewsDay.
It was a revealing moment, of the passion, conviction and intensity that hide behind that cool exterior.
Oh, there’s no question about her ambition, nor is there about Obama, Edwards and every man jack running for the White House. Devoted homeloving guys don’t swap family time to press the flesh of voters and schmooze with pols. Yet Obama walks on water while Hillary gets the flak. Now trailing behind Obama in the opinion polls, defeat staring her again in the eye, this time in New Hampshire, she has finally spoken movingly.
"You campaign in poetry," she said. "You govern in prose."
Oh where was this Hillary, I wondered when I read the quote, moved by her eloquence. There speaks a woman who grew up to the music of the Sixties and danced to Fleetwood Mac at her husband’s inaugural. Those were the days!
She had been prosing away about universal health care and specific plans and programmes when the voters were in the mood for poetry about how one man could unite the nation, never mind how.
But she has never claimed the poetic gift. Those memorable words of hers were not hers really, as she took the trouble to point out. "A wonderful former governor of New York used to say ‘You campaign in poetry, but you govern in prose,’ " she said, quoting Mario Cuomo. "We need a president who knows how to govern." She was claiming she would make a better president because she had more experience, but it was so beautifully put. Even if she was quoting someone else, one must appreciate she came up with such a gem.