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Kate Troy wrote:

> By the way, Nancy, Annette was also a New England lady.
> As I remember, Annette had a good job and received 
> promotions, etc. She . . . . .


To the Coming Generations
(Bertolt Brecht)

I

Truly, I live in dark times!
The innocuous word is fatuous.  A smooth brow
Denotes insensitivity.  If someone is laughing
It only means, that he hasn't yet
Heard the dreadful news.

What sort of times are these, when
To talk about trees is almost a crime,
Because it is simultaneously silence about so many atrocities!
Someone placidly crossing the street
Is certainly not available for his friend
Who is in need?

It is true: I do earn my living.
But believe me: that is the merest accident.  
Nothing
That I do gives me the right, to be stuffing myself full.
I have been spared by accident.  (If my luck runs out, I'm finished.)
They say to me: eat and drink!  Be happy that you have!
But how can I eat and drink, when
Every bite that I eat is ripped from the mouth of a starving man, and
My glass of water is being denied to one dying of thirst?
And yet I eat, and I drink.

I would love to be wise as well.
You can find what is wise in the old books:
To hold yourself aloof from the strife of the world, and to spend
Your brief time without fear;
Also, to get by without violence,
To repay evil with good,
To relinquish desires, rather than fulfilling them,
These are all considered wise.
Of all this I am incapable:
Truly, I live in dark times!

II

I came to the cities in the Age of Disorder
When hunger was rampant.
I came among mankind in the Age of Turmoil 
And I railed against it.
That is how my days were spent
That were given to me on earth.

I ate my food between battles
I lied down to sleep among the murderers
I attended diffidently to love 
And looked upon nature with impatience.
That is how my days were spent
That were given to me on earth.

In my day, the streets led to the swamp.
My language betrayed me to the butcher.
There was little I could do.  But the powerful
Sat more comfortably without me, so I hoped.
That is how my days were spent
That were given to me on earth.

The forces were weak.  The goal
Was distant, remote.
It was plainly visible, even if I
Could never reach it.
That is how my days were spent
That were given to me on earth.

III

You, who will spring up from the flood
In which we have drowned
Think, 
When you speak of our shortcomings,
Also of the dark times
That you have been spared.

We,  who had to change countries more often
Than our shoes,  walked in despair amid the class struggle,
When we saw only injustice, but no indignation.

And yet we do know:
Even hatred of baseness
Contorts the features.
Even wrath against injustice
Makes the voice hoarse.  Ah, we
Who wanted to prepare the ground for friendship
Were ourselves unable to be friendly.

But you, if the world has come so far
That each person is now a helper to his fellows
Think of us
With forbearance.