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Passions in Poetry

Answers For America

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Member Ascendant
since 02-02-2000
Posts 6304

25 posted 09-14-2001 03:57 AM       View Profile for anonymousfemale   Email anonymousfemale   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for anonymousfemale

Nicely said, Brad.

"Kelly's my Hero!" "No, Kelly's your heroine." "Kelly has heroin??" "What?"

Member Rara Avis
since 05-19-99
Posts 9708
Michigan, US

26 posted 09-14-2001 06:46 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Want to hear a nice little paradox?

Nations are comprised of people, and people make mistakes. Sometimes, very horrible mistakes. Yet, you cannot, in the name of justice, judge people based on the mistakes of a nation.

I walked the paths of Vietnam, but never entered the small village of My Lai. I voted for the man who sent to me to that grim country, but I never started that war nor any war since. I carried a rifle, but never shot a student at Kent State. I am wholly and fully responsible for my own actions, my own decisions, even my own lack of actions at times. But please don't think to punish me for the mistakes of others - because God knows I've made enough of my own.

I fully believe people need to be held accountable for their own actions. I believe it so strongly it has cost me friendships and familial ties. But, while responsibility isn't always cast in shades of black and white, to punish someone simply because they were born in a country, or of a certain ethnic origin, or because they speak a specific language, is as far removed from any viable definition of "justice" as anything I can remotely imagine. A child, angered on the playground and unable to reach the object of their torment, will often lash out at anyone they can reach. Let us agree, as adults, to forego those childish ways.

America has made mistakes because Americans have made mistakes. Very specific, usually very identifiable Americans. Were those who died this past Tuesday guilty by association? Did they deserve their fate because others of their country transgressed? Of course not, and only a child on the playground would argue otherwise.

But, you know, that works both ways, my friends.

There is a thread in the Dark forum right now, Tragedy in the U.S., where a few heated responses are in danger of crossing the same line. There are very specific, and we hope very identifiable people responsible for this terrorism. If they are being given refuge somewhere, that refuge is being offered by very specific and definitely identifiable people. Let's not make the mistake of lashing out at a nation, or a religious group, or an ethnic population simply because we are righteously angered. Innocent people have already suffered. If more innocents suffer in the future, as sadly may happen, let it not be because we were childish and wanted them to pay for the sins of others.

Reserve your wrath for the few who so deserve it, and refuse to condemn others through association or residency. Else we will be no better than those we hunt, and no different than the misguided author of this poem.

Junior Member
since 07-31-2001
Posts 14
Northern Territory, Australia

27 posted 09-14-2001 07:49 AM       View Profile for Bilby   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bilby

I will make three points.
1. Some of the aspersions cast on me in earlier posts are misleading. I am not an ex- or current member in another guise. Simply put, I am a new member. I'm a frequent writer, reader and critiquer of poetry and that's why I'm here. Someone also equated Sufism with 'Islamic mysticism' which is not particularly accurate given that prime contemporary exponents such as Irina Tweedie ("The Chasm Of Fire") are in fact Christian. I also reject the implication that anyone who has an interest in an Islamic field is necessarily biased on this issue. I do accept the premise, however, that of course every person's views are coloured with the hues of their knowledge and experienced. I trust that readers will be aware of their own biases as they seek to pillory mine.
2. I believe the poem has its merits. I note that those who have said it is 'bad' have given no reasons. This is somewhat disappointing, as it does not provide any constructive advice for me. I do not wish to enter into a lengthy defence of the poem, partly out of habit and partly because I don't think the climate is particularly receptive. Suffice to say, my intention was to provide a fleshing out, as it were, in modern context of the sentiments expressed in the following quote: "You and I know that this continuous putting pins in rattlesnakes finally got this country bitten." Who said it?  Ex-President Herbert Hoover, the day after Pearl Harbour.  
3. I apologise to those who took offence to any aspect of the poem, even though none was intended. Concerning the comments about me, any poet who wishes to put work in the public domain must be prepared to accept what is coming. Folks are entitled to their views, even those who are hasty to judge or quick to rail that a poem is disrespectful or traitorous without, I submit, fully understanding it.
When the dust settles, I hope to share more poetry.
Member Empyrean
since 11-16-1999
Posts 31622
Kapolei, Hawaii, USA

28 posted 09-14-2001 08:25 AM       View Profile for JamesMichael   Email JamesMichael   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JamesMichael

I think the motive behind this poem is a little hard to understand...the writer seems to lack a sense of compassion...I think the timing is wrong...however when I review the substance I think the writer is just trying to tell us that everyone that has gone through a time of suffering feels pain the same....I don't want to try to interpret the reasoning behind this in any detail because I think the best form of expression in this forum is to simply express our feelings within the form of poetry as this writer has already done...any other explanation would really have to come from the go ahead...explain...James
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Member Ascendant
since 02-06-2000
Posts 5323

29 posted 09-14-2001 02:20 PM       View Profile for kaile   Email kaile   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for kaile

perhaps you are right

but is such analysis more important than life and death itself?

could it have been done at a later moment?
G. A. Webb
since 01-21-2000
Posts 442
Stanton, California, USA

30 posted 09-14-2001 03:46 PM       View Profile for G. A. Webb   Email G. A. Webb   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for G. A. Webb

This was e-mail to me after what had happened and sums up my reply to this "piece". Doing my best to contain my discust for this "piece", that's all I'll say.


The following, from a Canadian newspaper, is worth sharing.

Its subject is "America: The Good Neighbor"

Widespread but only partial news coverage was given recently to a remarkable editorial broadcast from Toronto by Gordon Sinclair, a Canadian television commentator. What follows is the full text of his trenchant remarks as printed in the Congressional Record:

"This Canadian thinks it is time to speak up for the Americans as the most generous and possibly the least appreciated people on all the earth.

Germany, Japan and, to a lesser extent, Britain and Italy were lifted out of the
debris of war by the Americans who poured in billions of dollars and forgave other
billions in debts.  None of these countries is today paying even the interest on its remaining debts to the United States.

When France was in danger of collapsing in 1956, it was the Americans who propped it up, and their reward was to be insulted and swindled on the streets of Paris. I was there. I saw it.

When earthquakes hit distant cities, it is the United States that hurries in to help. This spring, 59 American communities were flattened by tornadoes. Nobody helped.

The Marshall Plan and the Truman Policy pumped billions of dollars into
discouraged countries. Now newspapers in those countries are writing about the
decadent, warmongering Americans.

I'd like to see just one of those countries that is gloating over the erosion of the United States dollar build its own airplane.  Does any other country in the
world have a plane to equal the Boeing Jumbo Jet, the ockheed Tri-Star, or the Douglas DC10? If so, why don't they fly them?

Why do all the International lines except Russia fly American Planes?

Why does no other land on earth even consider putting a man or woman on
the moon?  You talk about Japanese technocracy, and you get radios. You
talk about German technocracy, and you get automobiles. You talk about American
technocracy, and you find men on the moon-not once, but several times-and safely
home again. You talk about scandals, and the Americans put theirs right in the store window for everybody to look at.  Even their
draft-dodgers are not pursued and hounded.  They are here on our streets, and most of
them, unless they are breaking Canadian laws, are getting American dollars from ma and pa at home to spend here.

When the railways of France, Germany and India were breaking down through age,
it was the Americans who rebuilt them.  When the Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York Central went broke, nobody loaned them an old caboose. Both are still broke.

I can name you 5000 times when the Americans raced to the help of other people in trouble. Can you name me even one time when someone else raced to the Americans in trouble? I don't think there was outside help even during the San Francisco earthquake.

Our neighbors have faced it alone, and I'm one Canadian who is damned tired of
hearing them get kicked around. They will come out of this thing with their flag high. And when they do, they are entitled to thumb their nose at the lands that are gloating over their present troubles. I hope Canada is not one of those."

Stand proud, America!

Regret not that which you have done,
Rather that which you haven't

brian madden
Member Elite
since 05-06-2000
Posts 4532

31 posted 09-15-2001 08:11 AM       View Profile for brian madden   Email brian madden   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for brian madden

Alan, having read your poem and all the responses most closely yours I was taken back mainly at the timing of this post, obviously you thought this was a good time to highlight your points. Not being American
and not having any strong political ties
my feelings are less intense due to what happened, I think being irish does not colour my view of events either, I am looking at what happened from a completely humane level. IT was a horrifying attack on a building in peace times. It does not matter the nation in which it happened. Because America is seen as a seat of power, because of its links to most of western Europe, because it is such a strong focal point and because what happens in America directly affects the rest of Europe……..
Because of all these factors yes we are going to America, it is going to become a very highlighted event, more so than say the killing fields of Cambodia for instance. People accept that things like that happen in places like that.. a narrowed view maybe. But we can't all be open-minded all the time. New York City is not suppose to be a place of terrorist attacks, that is what has caused so much shock. Maybe you are trying show people that these attacks happen in other countries and are not given the same intense media focus and there is not the same outpouring or same poetic posts here, that is true, it happens on your doorstep you tend to take a lot more notice.

but now is not the time  

Thousands of people died tragically in an act of terrorism.. that is what happened on 11th of September 2001.

"Here I am in prison,here I am with a ball and chain There is whiskey in the jar-o" Traditional irish song.

Senior Member
since 05-28-2000
Posts 1226
Plantation, Florida

32 posted 09-15-2001 09:35 AM       View Profile for Romy   Email Romy   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Romy

God Bless America.
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