In the hot Washington afternoon, in one of those endlessly bustling government offices, there sits a man named Michael J. Astrue, the fifty-four-year-old head of the Social Security Administration. Competent, organized, bald, and busy, he is not a politician, exactly, but one of those people who has to live in a highly political world, trying to make what the politicians come up with actually work. …
Across the city, in the only slightly less hot Washington evening, in an apartment overlooking Georgetown, sits Astrue’s opposite, a man named A.M. Juster: formalist poet, comic versifier, and classical translator. Eight years ago, Juster won the Richard Wilbur Award for his collection The Secret Language of Women (2002), besides publishing book-length translations of Petrarch (the 2002 Longing for Laura) and Horace (the 2008 Satires).
Anagrammarians among you (though perhaps not the author of this piece) doubtless, and correctly, note the identity of M.J. ASTRUE and A.M. JUSTER.
Great piece on a fascinating guy whom the Gormogons would love to buy dinner and listen to.
Don’t ask impertinent questions like that jackass Adept Lu.