Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Oh thou whose face hath felt the Winter’s wind

Oh thou whose face hath felt the Winter’s wind,
Whose eye has seen the snow-clouds hung in mist,
And the black elm tops, ‘mong the freezing stars,
To thee the spring will be a harvest-time.
O thou, whose only book has been the light,
Of supreme darkness which thou feddest on
Night after night when Phoebus was away,
To thee the Spring shall be a triple morn.
O fret not after knowledge - I have none,
And yet my song comes native with the warmth.
O fret not after knowledge - I have none,
And yet the Evening listens. He who saddens
At thought of idleness cannot be idle,
And he’s awake who thinks himself asleep.

John Keats, The Complete Poems (Penguin)

This is the opening poem from a terrific ezine, Axis of Logic
which features Jo Wilding's Voices in the Wilderness and many other articles bringing clarity of the issues
and revealing the mediaplex bias and misinformation. It's pretty upsetting,
but it makes me feel better to know someone will take this project on and
hit it hard.

Last year I wrote my "blog-guru" Cory Doctorow of BoingBoing.net with the "Cost of War in Iraq"
web-counter, asking him to post it on the site...He shot back a one-line email, "I don't
blog about the war." I was shocked at first, How can you NOT blog about the war? What's more important, after all?

On further thought, now that it goes on and gets deeper and more convoluted and
more horrible, there seems little point to belaboring it. But I am grateful for these writers and their courage.

from Axis of Logic:

I believe demolishing Hussein's military power and liberating Iraq would be a cakewalk.
Let me give simple, responsible reasons: (1) It was a cakewalk last time; (2) they've
become much weaker; (3) we've become much stronger; and (4) now we're playing for keeps.
Richard Perle 3-29-03

And this -

Our good friend and colleague, Noah Cohen, translated and adapted this poem from Brecht's,
"An die Deutschen Soldaten im Osten" ("To the German Soldiers in the East").

Noah explains the background for the poem and how Brecht might have written it today:

"The original was written in 1941. Germany had invaded Russia, and after an initial campaign
of rapid conquest and little resistance, summer turned winter, and the Russians rallied at
Moscow. Brecht had his poem read over Moscow radio so that the German soldiers would
hear it.

"I've turned winter to summer, ice-fields to deserts etc. Of course there are differences in
relative situation (thousands of German soldiers died just from the winter itself and the
long march to Moscow), but the parallel is mostly here: that the resistance of the people
of Fallujah now,like the resistance then, is what stands between the world and a fascist
military empire bent on global dominion. Perhaps I should stay closer to the original title
and make it "To the American Soldiers in the East."

A Message to the Troops
Brothers, if I were among you
On the eastern deserts, were one of you
One of the thousands
I'd be saying what you're saying: Surely
There must be a road leading home.
But, brothers, dear brothers
Under my helmet, under my skull
I would know what you know:
There is no more road leading home.
On the map on the wall of the schoolroom
The road to Fallujah is short
Like the pinky of the Commander-in-Chief.
But in the desert it's longer,
very long, too long.
The sandstorms won't last forever, only till the turn of the season.
But man too won't last forever. Till the turn of season
He will not last.
And so I must die, I know that.
In the coat of a robber I must die.
Must die in the shirt of an arsonist.
As one of the many, as one of the thousands
Hunted as robbers, beaten as arsonists.


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