TALK TO THE DADDY

Hello. Come on in. The daddy writes about current events, literature, music and, once in a while, drops something on you from back in the day to make you pause and ponder, stop and stare, and begin to wonder. Who knows? You may start to pace the floor, shake your head from side to side, then fall down on bended knees in a praying position and cry, "Lawd, have mercy! What is this world coming to?" Check yourself! But this blog is NOT about the daddy. It's about you: your boos, your fam, your hood, your country...our hopes and dreams of a better tomorrow. So let's make a pact: the daddy will put it on the track if you'll chase it down and hit him back. Together, we can definitely take it to another level. Shall we?"

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Two Poets and a Prayer

Before now, poetry has
taken notice of wars, but
what are wars but
politics transformed
from chronic to acute and bloody?

--Robert Frost

Say whatever you want. Do whatever you like, but on this day, two days before Memorial Day,
a time of remembrance of those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom, and those who will be paying the price in the future, the daddy is not discussing US political campaigns and their by now all-too-familiar ugliness. He's not posting about an illegal, pre-emptive war that never should have started in the first place. And he's definitely not writing about political candidates who used their vote for the Iraq war to show that they're as tough as any other senator or congress person on war or terrorism.

Today, he is thinking about two poets; and he's in prayer.

He's thinking of Pablo Neruda 1904-1973), that devoted Chilean who served his country for so many years as consulate and ambassador from 1970 to 1973. He remembers that Neruda was a wise man and a great poet. He remembers that, when friend and Chilean composer Acario Catapos died, Neruda honored him with an elegant, one-sentence eulogy:

Today,
We deliver into the shadows

A brilliant human being

Who gave us a star
everyday.

The daddy is thinking of Neruda as not only a representative of his country but a servant of peace. In "Memoirs" (Cinfeso Que He Vivido: Memorias), he wrote:

Poetry is an act of peace.
Peace goes into the making of a poet
As flour goes into the making of bread.


The daddy is thinking of the Oxford-trained English poet W.H. Auden, who was influenced by Thomas Hardy, William Black, Robert Frost and Emily Dickenson. He is thinking about the notion of evil, a recurring theme in Auden's work. He remembers him saying that, to find evil, you needn't travel to some distant land; you needn't look at anyone you perceive to be different. You need only look at yourself and those around you:

Evil is unspectacular and always
human, and shares our bed and
eats at our own table.


He said:

I and the people know
What all schoolchildren learn,
Those to whom evil is done,
Do evil in return.

A Memorial Day Prayer

By Rev. Nancy S. Taylor
Old South Church in Boston
Boylston & Dartmouth Streets at the Copley

Almighty God, our heavenly Mother and Father, in whose hands are the living and the dead; we give thanks for all who have laid down their lives in the service of their country. Grant to them thy mercy and the light of thy presence.

Grateful in heart thy people turn to thee, O God of all humankind. Give us wisdom and strength to save our land from greed and corruption; from pride and presumption; from tyrants and misrule. Deliver us from war and the menace of war. Give to our leaders wisdom and to our people patience, that together they may achieve a better law, a purer life, a more abundant opportunity for all. Grant unto our land to be numbered among he peacemakers and become a hope to the oppressed. Give her the desire to promote honor and humanity throughout the earth, that in liberty and self-restraint, in charity and gentleness, she may be worthy of her origin and of thy favor.

O Thou in whose hands are the hearts of thy creatures; shed abroad thy peace upon the world. By the might of thy Holy Spirit quench the pride, quell the anger, and cast out the greed which cause person to strive against person, and tribe against tribe, and nation against nation. Lead all nations in the ways of mutual help and good will and hasten the time when no evil deeds shall defile thy glorious creation; through Jesus Christ. Amen.

Peace to one and all,

8 comments:

SagaciousHillbilly said...

MacDaddy. . . makin it all so clear.

Thanks Mac. I needed that. Pablo and Auden. . . wow. . . throw in a little Blake and we'll have a love fest.
Yea, peace and love. Why doesn't everybody want that?

MacDaddy said...

sagacious: My black friends are going to e-mail me and say, "What? No Langston Hughes? No Maya Angelou? No Nikki Giovonni?" I'll just tell em all in due time. Meanwhile, I love these guys. And Dickinson too.
But i'm trying not to think about Senator Clinton's statement and its possible implications. What do you think?

SagaciousHillbilly said...

Mac, One could listen to the whole statement she made and come to the conclusion that well, she was simply trying to put things into perspective for her own convenience. But then, when one considers that Billary are/is the slickest and most astude politicians of the past . . . oh hell, I dunno, 50, 60, 100 years?. . . then one has to wonder why. Why would she make such a statement kowing full well the inuendo and ramifications. Back in '68, California didn't hold their primary until June and there were still a bunch of big states to go, and yea, Billary knew that, so it's an impossibly lame way of giving herself any type of calender advantage. I think it's obvious the point she was tryiing to make. As one person I read said: They've been waiting for Obama to fuck up really bad. . . well, Billary just did.

MacDaddy said...

sagacious: As one person I read said: They've been waiting for Obama to fuck up really bad. . . " Or worse. Disgusting.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mac Daddy,
I love that line: POETRY IS AN ACT OF PEACE....I would expand that phrase to include all of Art...Syl Jones, who used to write for Star Tribune, once wrote: "Exposure to Beauty is the greatest deterrant to violence." Perhaps if we spent more time enjoying lthe Arts, we Americans would be less violent....
Happy Memorial Day! And thanks for the prayer....I'll use it this week-end.
Nun in the 'Hood

MacDaddy said...

Nuninthehood: I will include a prayer throughout the Memorial weekend for the people of Iraq, Afghanistan and our brave but poorly (civilian) commanded soldiers. You've made my day!

Anonymous said...

Please say something to God about Obam/ask to keep him safe.

MacDaddy said...

Anon: About Obama, I understand what you're saying. We all do. I will.