Given their different backgrounds, beliefs and life experiences it is hard to see what these celebrated men had in common.  They were both great leaders at a time when nothing short of outstanding leadership was needed to overcome the implacable threats of their times.  Perhaps less well known is that they both turned to poetry to strengthen their resilience in times of crisis.  What worked for those great men may help leaders of today take a break from trying solving intractable problems and clear their heads for a moment.  

As Eliot A. Cohen puts it so well ‘As the shutdowns of the coronavirus continue, we all tire of Zoom calls, Netflix bingeing, and even, perhaps, attempts to tackle once again War and Peace or Moby-Dick. Perhaps, then, it is not a bad time to turn to poetry’.