I have decided that I need to be exposed to more poetry. I was only exposed in High School, like everyone else, and it did nothing to help me foster a love or even a real appreciation of poetry. Of course I was not taken with what little I was exposed to. I don’t think that a love of poetry is like a love of opera in that you either LOVE opera or you can appreciate it, but it will never be a part of your soul. I think that poetry can be different in that there are infinite styles, subjects and levels of complexity and you can find a poet or poem that speaks to you, it doesn’t matter where you are in your life.
I have found a website that is exposing me to a different poem everyday. It is really exciting to me to expand my knowledge and appreciation of the world just a little bit everyday. I was searching for a way into poetry and this is giving me a way to find that road.
Today’s poem about knocked my out of my chair, so I thought I would share.
How much poison are you willing
to eat for the success of the free
market and global trade? Please
name your preferred poisons.
For the sake of goodness, how much
evil are you willing to do?
Fill in the following blanks
with the names of your favorite
evils and acts of hatred.
What sacrifices are you prepared
to make for culture and civilization?
Please list the monuments, shrines,
and works of art you would
most willingly destroy
In the name of patriotism and
the flag, how much of our beloved
land are you willing to desecrate?
List in the following spaces
the mountains, rivers, towns, farms
you could most readily do without.
State briefly the ideas, ideals, or hopes,
the energy sources, the kinds of security;
for which you would kill a child.
Name, please, the children whom
you would be willing to kill.
“Questionnaire” by Wendell Berry from Leavings. © Counterpoint, 2010. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)