Sunday, February 06, 2005

Eerie, isn't it?

next to of course god by ee cummings

"next to of course god america i
love you land of the pilgrims' and so forth oh
say can you see by the dawn's early my
country 'tis of centuries come and go
and are no more what of it we should worry
in every language even deafanddumb
thy sons acclaim your glorious name by gorry
by jingo by gee by gosh by gum
why talk of beauty what could be more beaut-
iful than these heroic happy dead
who rushed like lions to the roaring slaughter
they did not stop to think they died instead
then shall the voice of liberty be mute?"

He spoke. And drank rapidly a glass of water

*          *          *

Although I can't find when this specific poem first appeared, given the fact that ee cummings died in 1962, I find it amusing that this poem is so appropriate today. Whether it was written before or after 1984, I think reading into the relationship between the two works is a very constructive exercize. I'd recommend it. As the poem stands by itself, I find it most instructive as relates to its focus on rhetoric. I have quite a bit to say about this poem, but I would rather recommend you read it two or three times for yourself and get a real grip on what's going on. No need for my judgement to cloud over yours.


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