Sunday, March 13, 2011

No words of mine

I don't know what to say about the catastrophe in Japan that wouldn't sound trite, meaningless. I picked up my battered copy of Carl Sandburg's "The People, Yes" and found this:

The steel mill sky is alive.
The fire breaks white and zigzag
shot on a gun-metal gloaming.
Man is a long time coming.
Man will yet win.
Brother may yet line up with brother:

This old anvil laughs at many broken hammers.
There are men who can't be bought.
The fireborn are at home in fire.
The stars make no noise,
You can't hinder the wind from blowing.
Time is a great teacher.
Who can live without hope?

In the darkness with a great bundle of grief
the people march.
In the night, and overhead a shovel of stars for keeps, the people march:
"Where to? What next?"


anyjazz said...

Good one.

gian paul said...

In such extreme and drammatic circumstances what can we say? You got it sentimentally right by your citation, but who got it right even more is "destiny" !

Why? If it had just been an earthquake, even "plus tsunami" this would have been something that had already happened before...

But this time the nuclear risks have "joined the arena". And that's where other people (not just the Japanese) are getting really concerned.

Is this one of these "awakeners" the earth periodically needs to reconsider a few things?

I wonder...

Jefferson's Guardian said...

Indeed, "Where to? What next?"

Wisewebwoman said...

Two of my family were in Tokyo when all this went down, mainly under tables with laptops and Ipads, and ceilings falling down - the after shocks were and are awful. One was trying to get to Moscow tonight. They were both so impressed with the emergency services. First class, considering the wide spread destruction. Put Katrina to absolute shame.
Great poem, T.

Anonymous said...

Not much can be said but point out - again! - the real danger that nuclear power is...

But let me end quoting this phrase on a wall:
“A fire will be born again. The shadow will emanate a spark. New will be the Broken sword...
And the King without Crown...”


James Higham said...

Unfortunately, there is more to come, Twilight.

Twilight said...

anyjazz ~~ Thanks.

gian paul ~~ We need an awakener, and this might well be it.

Jefferson's Guardian ~~ I wonder!

WWW ~~~ Thank goodness they are safe. That will be a lifelong memory for them, but one I bet they wish they'd not experienced.

Anonymous ~~Hi! Indeed. And that's the kind of phrase to bring on an attack of goosebumps. Had a look at your blog and just love those photos of the Italian village!

James ~~~ It seems that way doesn't it? sometimes I wish I was a person who prayed. But we can hope.

R J Adams said...

"What next?" asks Sandburg.

Hopefully, a great worldwide cry of, "No more nuclear power!"

Twilight said...

RJ Adams ~~~ Yes. We can but hope, but I'm not optimistic on that score.