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Poem for the Day

Posted: 31 August 2013

The final shadow that will close my eyes
will in its darkness take me from white day
and instantly untie the soul from lies
and flattery of death, and find its way,
and yet my soul won't leave its memory
of love there on the shore where it has burned:
my flame can swim cold water and has learned
to lose respect for laws' severity.
My soul, whom a God made his prison of,
my veins, which a liquid humor fed to fire,
my marrows, which have gloriously flamed,
will leave their body, never their desire;
they will be ash but ash in feeling framed;
they will be dust but will be dust in love.

Love Constant Beyond Death
Francisco Gomez de Quevedo 1580 - 1645

Poem for the Day

Posted: 30 August 2013

The eastern world, it is exploding,
Violence flaring, bullets loading,
You're old enough to kill, but not for voting,
You don't believe in war, but what's that gun you're toting,
And even the Jordan River has bodies floating,
But you tell me
Over and over and over again, my friend,
You don't believe
We're on the eve of destruction.

Don't you understand what I'm trying to say?
Can't you feel the fears I'm feeling today?
If the button is pushed, there's no running away,
There'll be no one to save, with the world in a grave,
Take a look around you boy, it's bound to scare you boy,
And you tell me
Over and over and over again, my friend,
You don't believe
We're on the eve of destruction.

My blood's so mad feels like coagulating,
I'm sitting here just contemplating,
I can't twist the truth, it knows no regulation,
Handful of senators don't pass legislation,
And marches alone can't bring integration
When human respect is disintegrating,
This whole crazy world is just too frustrating,
And you tell me
Over and over and over again, my friend,
You don't believe
We're on the eve of destruction.

Think of all the hate there is in Red China,
Then take a look around to Selma, Alabama.
You may leave here for 4 days in space
But when you return, it's the same old place.
The pounding of the drums, the pride and disgrace,
You can bury your dead, but don't leave a trace,
Hate your next-door neighbour, but don't forget to say grace,
And you tell me
Over and over and over and over again, my friend,
You don't believe
We're on the eve of destruction.

The Eve of Destruction
Barry McGuire 1935 -

Poem for the Day

Posted: 29 August 2013

‘Good-morning; good-morning!’ the General said
When we met him last week on our way to the line.
Now the soldiers he smiled at are most of ’em dead,
And we’re cursing his staff for incompetent swine.
‘He’s a cheery old card,’ grunted Harry to Jack
As they slogged up to Arras with rifle and pack.

But he did for them both by his plan of attack.

The General
Siegfried Sassoon 1886 - 1967

Poem for ther Day

Posted: 28 August 2013

50 years ago today Martin Luther King addressed 250,000 people in Washington in a speech about civil rights. During the speech the gospel singer Mahalia Jackson called out, "Tell them about the dream, Martin. Tell them about the dream." At this point King laid aside his prepared speech and what followed was completely spontaneous and extemporaneous and some of the most beautiful, most powerful, most poetic words ever spoken.

I have a dream
That one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."

I have a dream
That one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream
That one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream
That my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today!

I have a dream
That one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of "interposition" and "nullification" -- one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today!

I have a dream
That one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; "and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together."

This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.
With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

And this will be the day -- this will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning:
My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim's pride,
From every mountainside, let freedom ring!

And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.
And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.
Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.
Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.
Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.
But not only that:
Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.
From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:
Free at last! Free at last!
Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!

I Have A Dream
Martin Luther King 1929 - 1968

Poem for the Day

Posted: 27 August 2013

To see a world in a grain of sand
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour.

A robin redbreast in a cage
Puts all heaven in a rage.
A dove-house filled with doves and pigeons
Shudders hell through all its regions.
A dog starved at his master's gate
Predicts the ruin of the state.
A horse misused upon the road
Calls to heaven for human blood.

Each outcry of the hunted hare
A fibre from the brain does tear.
A skylark wounded in the wing,
A cherubim does cease to sing.

from Auguries of Innocence
William Blake 1757 - 1827

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