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Ah Brecht... One of my favourite literary trolls.
Let's all  torture ourselves to death and be done with it.
Where is the polonium anyway?
P.
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Carrol Cox" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, June 15, 2007 2:09 PM
Subject: Tale of a Tub: For Kate was Re: New England Ladies


> 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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