—-William J. Clinton
As Memorial Day approaches I can’t help but feel patriotic and thankful to those who give (and gave) their time (and sometimes their lives) to protect our country. There is much that I can say, but I read a poem that captures it for me.
Lawrence Ferlinghetti just turned 100, and he wrote this poem in 2007. George W. Bush was President, and many democrats feared that the path we were taking was non-redeemable. Of course Barack Obama was then elected, and just as many Republicans adopted that fear as Democrats breathed their sighs of relief.
When I first read this poem I became fearful and sad, but when I saw it was written twelve years go I began to recognize that the “President du jour” will always frighten a great many Americans enough to activate them. That is why America has grown and prospered. We have ultimately recognized what was right and fought for it. We will again.
Read this poem and fear it a bit, and then go out and make your part of the world exactly what you want it to be.
Happy Memorial Day.
PITY THE NATION by Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Pity the nation whose people are sheep,
and whose shepherds mislead them.
Pity the nation whose leaders are liars, whose sages are silenced,
and whose bigots haunt the airwaves.
Pity the nation that raises not its voice,
except to praise conquerors and acclaim the bully as hero
and aims to rule the world with force and by torture.
Pity the nation that knows no other language but its own
and no other culture but its own.
Pity the nation whose breath is money
and sleeps the sleep of the too well fed.
Pity the nation — oh, pity the people who allow their rights to erode
and their freedoms to be washed away.
My country, tears of thee, sweet land of liberty.
This week my book, A Colony of Eves by Larry Kaplan, mixes mystery and science fiction as it follows a family of Russian immigrants trying to find their place in America. Worth reading.
As always a complete review of this book follows my blog.