January 21, 2013

"Poetry is nearer to vital truth than history"

By accident most strange, bountiful Fortune —
Now my dear lady — hath mine enemies
Brought to this shore; and by my prescience
I find my zenith doth depend upon
A most auspicious star, whose influence
If now I court not, but omit, my fortunes
Will ever after droop.

"The Tempest," William Shakespeare

Good heavens. Here is a newly discovered poem by Carl Sandberg that could have been written yesterday--or more to the point, on the night of February 26, 2012.

A Revolver

Here is a revolver.

It has an amazing language all its own.
It delivers unmistakable ultimatums.
It is the last word.
A simple, little human forefinger can tell a terrible story with it.
Hunger, fear, revenge, robbery hide behind it.
It is the claw of the jungle made quick and powerful.
It is the club of the savage turned to magnificent precision.
It is more rapid than any judge or court of law.
It is less subtle and treacherous than any one lawyer or ten.
When it has spoken, the case can not be appealed to the supreme court, nor any mandamus nor any injunction nor any stay of execution in and interfere with the original purpose.
And nothing in human philosophy persists more strangely than the old belief that God is always on the side of those who have the most revolvers.

Wow. Talk about prescience.

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