"They" said you were too young
for such an office,
Too green, lacking the seasoning
of age and experience.
The people said otherwise,
they saw Hope personified
Some of them said you were unworthy
because your skin was darker than theirs
Most people rejected this lie.
"They" said you were too left, too right,
too Carter, too Chicago,
too quick to discuss,
too slow to decide
and yes, totally unworthy of the Nobel Prize
And what does it say about them
That strangers would look upon so small a body of work
and of their own volition leap to reward it?
What does it say about their work, their choices,
About their deeds, their honors
(Medals of Freedom given to torturers and thieves)
That sage old men
Who had honored Jane Adams, James Carter,
Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King
Would prematurely insist on rewarding this one,
Do they see Hope personified?
Are they projecting their dreams
Of collaboration and dialogue?
Daring to believe that the past
Need not be the future?
Betting that what is given in anticipation
more than achievement
Will, in time be presciently given?
And what bet are "they" making?
I can see the point of those who think it too soon for Obama to receive this prize. I can't see the volume and vitriol of the criticism. He did not seek the award, he did not campaign for it.
How relieved and refreshed must these old men be to give it to him?