L'esprit de l'escalier

It's all about the timing.

Name:
Location: Memphis, Tennessee, United States

I'd rather be somewhere else most of the time and I'm a huge practitioner of staircase wit.

7/15/2005

One of my favorite author's quoted from one of my favorite books

Here's a poem from the Spoon River Anthology, from Cat's Cradle.

I was the first fruits of the battle of Missionary Ridge.
When I felt the bullet enter my heart
I wished I had staid at home and gone to jail
For stealing the hogs of Curl Trenary,
Instead of running away and joining the army.
Rather a thousand times the county jail
Than to lie under this marble figure with wings,
And this granite pedestal
Bearing the words, "Pro Patria."
What do they mean, anyway?

-Edgar Lee Masters

Spoon River Anthology is full of poems in the point of view of the deceased. Masters went through this small town, turn of the century, cemetary and wrote down names, epitaphs and filled in the blanks with some of the most potent poems I've ever read.

I mean, just look at this one. The first line gives me chills, whoever this person is has declared himself from the get-go a reluctant warrior. Regretting the decision that got himself killed. He didn't want to die. Why would he? Who does? Jail would've been better than death.

Today so many young people join the military to get out of bad living conditions at home, but is death really better than poverty? I don't know, maybe, but not to this guy. You can get out of poverty, you can't come back from the dead. It's just not worth it. No matter how valient "they" try to make it sound, no matter what we say and how we congratulate them, they're still dead. Not everyone gets to take the credit for a good fight.

It's bullshit.

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