Thursday, November 7, 2013

Cecil Day Lewis condemned politicians of his day just as much as we do ours today

because the Poet Laureate was savvy enough to know that politicians are the root of all  nastiness that happens to a country or its citizens.

When asked,  he refused to name any politician(s)  that he had in mind when he wrote: "Consider These, for we have Condemned them"  and even denied that he was thinking of  politicians.  Yeah, right!!  Nobody believed him, and on reading the poem below you won't too.  I think the poem first appeared in his volume of poetry titled "From Feathers to Iron."  

It's so beautiful when you let a Poet Laureate do your talking for you ..... isn't it?

Consider These,  for  we  have  Condemned them

Consider these, for we have condemned them;
Leaders to no sure land, guides their bearings lost
Or in league with robbers have reversed the signposts,
Disrespectful to ancestors, irresponsible to heirs,
Born barren , a freak growth, root in rubble,
Fruitlessly blossoming, whose foliage suffocates,
Their sap is sluggish, they reject the sun. 

The man with his tongue in his cheek, the woman
With her heart in the wrong place, unhandsome, unwholesome;
Have exposed the new-born to worse than weather,
Exiled the honest and sacked the seer.
These drowned the farms to form a pleasure-lake,
In time of drought they drain the reservoir
Through private pipes for baths and sprinklers. 

Getters not begetters; gainers not beginners;
Whiners, no winners; no triers, betrayers;
Who steer by no star, whose moon means nothing.
Daily denying, unable to dig:
At bay in villas from blood relations,
Counters of spoons and content with cushions
They pray for peace, they hand down disaster. 

They that take the bribe shall perish by the bribe,
Dying of dry rot, ending in asylums,
A curse to children, a charge on the state.
But still their fears and frenzies infect us;
Drug nor isolation will cure this cancer;
It is now or never, the hour of the knife,
The break with the past, the major operation.

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