Saturday, July 5, 2008

Of justice and responsibility

Tonight I am weary. Tomorrow I travel for business but tonight I am weary. So why bother to add a post to this space? Because of justice. Justice that must be done and will not be done unless we work for it even when we are slightly weary. And after all, it does not take so very long to put in a word for justice and it is not so very hard, particularly when one can spread the word of a fine writer like Grace Paley who wrote the poem that appears below. Before you read it though, please consider a look at The Denver Group, which is seeking procedural political justice from the Democratic National Party, and has put out an "action alert" related to its efforts. Then, if you feel like it, please come back and enjoy Grace Paley's Responsibility:
It is the responsibility of society to let the poet be a poet.

It is the responsibility of the poet to be a woman

It is the responsibility of the poet to stand on street corners
giving out poems and beautifully written leaflets
also leaflets they can hardly bear to look at
because of the screaming rhetoric

It is the responsibility of the poet to be lazy to hang out and
prophesy

It is the responsibility of the poet not to pay war taxes

It is the responsibility of the poet to go in and out of ivory
towers and two-room apartments on Avenue C
and buckwheat fields and army camps

It is the responsibility of the male poet to be a woman

It is the responsibility of the female poet to be a woman

It is the poet's responsibility to speak truth to power as the
Quakers say

It is the poet's responsibility to learn the truth from the
powerless

It is the responsibility of the poet to say many times: there is no
freedom without justice and this means economic
justice and love justice

It is the responsibility of the poet to sing this in all the original
and traditional tunes of singing and telling poems

There is no freedom without fear and bravery there is no
freedom unless
earth and air and water continue and children
also continue

It is the responsibility of the poet to be a woman to keep an eye on
this world and cry out like Cassandra, but be
listened to this time

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the poem!

Thanks for posting it Heidi and thanks for being OUR favorite "smartie" :) you are the greatest!!

ainnj

July 5, 2008 at 9:43 PM  
Anonymous GaGirl said...

Heidi, we are with you and Marc all the way. Thank you for all your wonderful efforts on behalf of Senator Clinton.

July 5, 2008 at 10:33 PM  
Anonymous Mirlo said...

Inspiring poem, Heidi, thank you for posting it, transcending your feeling weary and making this thoughtful gift to us.

July 6, 2008 at 5:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So why bother to add a post to this space? Because of justice


Heidi, I can imagine that's what has driven you your whole life. Justice is a need like air and food. Maybe not immediately as strong, but it's up there!

Thank you for all your efforts!

July 8, 2008 at 12:01 PM  

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