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What are you trying to say, Carol, that these matters of love and romance  
are insignificant because there are people in the world who don't have enough to 
 eat or a place to live or live lives where violence is a part of their every 
day  experiences?
 
 
In a message dated 6/15/2007 6:09:43 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,  
[log in to unmask] writes:

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.







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