Friday, August 15, 2014

Wendell Berry on Invading Iraq

As the [u]nited States embark on yet another invasion of Iraq, it is worth recalling the words of Caintuck’s talented poet, essayist, novelist, and farmer Wendell Berry, which he penned at the start of the American Empire’s first invasion of that country in 1991.  The sickness of the typical self-righteous American soul described so well by Mr Berry below, dismayingly, has not improved very much in the intervening years.  And that does not bode well for anyone in the world.

Sabbath Poem I from 1991

The year begins with war.
Our bombs fall day and night,
Hour after hour, by death
Abroad appeasing wrath,
Folly, and greed at home.
Upon our giddy tower
We’d oversway the world.
Our hate comes down to kill
Those whom we do not see,
For we have given up
Our sight to those in power
And to machines, and now
Are blind to all the world.
This is a nation where
No lovely thing can last.
We trample, gouge, and blast;
The people leave the land;
The land flows to the sea.
Fine men and women die,
The fine old houses fall,
The fine old trees come down:
Highway and shopping mall
Still guarantee the right
And liberty to be
A peaceful murderer,
A murderous worshipper,
A slender glutton, Forgiving
No enemy, forgiven
By none, we live the death
Of liberty, become
What we have feared to be.

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