Monday, July 10, 2006

July Poem

Nationality

I have grown past hate and bitterness,
I see the world as one;
But though I can no longer hate,
My son is still my son.

All men at God's round table sit,
and all men must be fed;
But this loaf in my hand,
This loaf is my son's bread.

Dame Mary Gilmore


Because I'm not quite done thinking about patriotism, even though the holiday is over.

She's Australian. I thought I ought to find some poets who weren't American or British. She was a socialist who tried to help found an ideal communist community in Paraguay. Now she appears on the Australian $10 bill. That would not happen here.

Here's a little bio.

I also wanted to link to a post of Jaquandor's that I thought made some very good points, about how being disappointed in a person, or a nation, doesn't mean you don't love them; you can only be truly disappointed in those you do love.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks very much for posting this poem. I've been thinking about patriotism ever since one evening in the summer after 9/11, when I was talking about the attacks with a group of smart, left-leaning university students. When I said that my emotional reaction to 9/11 was stronger than it would have been had the victims been foreigners in a foreign land, instead of Americans in America, they scolded me for being narrow-minded. That was first time I really stopped and thought about the fact that I loved my country, and wondered why I loved it, and whether loving it above all others was good thing or a bad thing. The analogy to loving one's family is a good one, and one that's been helpful to me over the years in thinking about how patriotism can be consistent with an enlightened view of human equality.

Carol

Mary said...

Sort of the same thing happened to me, only on the internet. With a bunch of non-Americans who said 9/11 was terrible and all (this was probably about October of that year) but Americans should stop making such a big deal over it, acting like they were the only people who'd ever been struck. They had a point, but not everybody was polite. It degenerated to the point where someone said, "get over it," and it really upset me. But the thing is, they wouldn't have been saying all that stuff if it had been their country it happened in... And they wouldn't have liked to have been told to "get over it" either.

VNTuongLai said...

__ You’re invited to view my latest video “684”__ a collection of some short poems. ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QQVtsjdiDw )