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James Day Hodgson (1915-2012) was a politician and diplomat who served during the administrations of Richard M. Nixon and Gerald R. Ford, first as Secretary of Labor (1970-73) and later as Ambassador to Japan (1974-77). Many years after his retirement, Hodgson published a book titled American Senryu, a collection of senryū poetry written by Hodgson himself. Here is one of my favorite poems (in italics) from that book, including a bit of commentary by the author:
The exciting thought
That beauty is possible
Sustains us all.
As seen here, beauty encompasses the full range of a sensually satisfying process — a process that starts with conception, extends to execution, and triumphs in realization. In this sense, such things as a well-played game, a complex business deal, or a successful diplomatic venture are all “beautiful.”
In every sphere of activity, the prospect of a “beautiful” outcome is a powerful motivator of men.
Wise words, those.Published in