This caught my eye in the NY Times today.


Ms. Olds, in a letter on the Web site of The Nation (thenation.com/doc/20051010/olds), said she found the invitation appealing. “But I could not face the idea of breaking bread with you,” she wrote in a letter to Mrs. Bush. “I knew that if I sat down to eat with you, it would feel to me as if I were condoning what I see to be the wild, highhanded actions of the Bush administration. . . . So many Americans who had felt pride in our country now feel anguish and shame, for the current regime of blood, wounds and fire. I thought of the clean linens at your table, the shining knives and the flames of the candles, and I could not stomach it.”

My hat is off. Really. Although it may seem like a no-brainer to decline such an invitation, it’s still a gutsy move. I found the statement about “breaking bread” particularly moving. And particularly so because we are talking about Sharon Olds, and this is a poet who does get right to the heart of the matter. Breaking bread. Condoning. Condoning. Yes, what we implicitly and explicitly support every day.