Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Old Postcard Wednesday--Arizona Sunset

Our American heritage is greater than any one of us. It can express itself in very homely truths; in the end it can lift up our eyes beyond the glow in the sunset skies.
-Bruce Catton

Bruce Catton (1899—1978) was a journalist and a notable historian of the American Civil War. He won a Pulitzer Prize for history in 1954 for A Stillness at Appomattox, his study of the final campaign of the war in Virginia.
Catton received an award for "meritorious service in the field of Civil War history" in 1959, presented by Harry S Truman. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977 from Gerald R. Ford.
- Wikipedia

The Last Election

Suppose there are no returns,
and the candidates, one
by one, drop off in the polls,
as the voters turn away,
each to his inner persuasion.

The frontrunners, the dark horses,
begin to look elsewhere,
and even the President admits
he has nothing new to say;
it is best to be silent now.

No more conventions, no donors,
no more hats in the ring;
no ghost-written speeches,
no promises we always knew
were never meant to be kept.

And something like the truth,
or what we knew by that name-
that for which no corporate
sponsor was ever offered-
takes hold in the public mind.

Each subdued and thoughtful
citizen closes his door, turns
off the news. He opens a book,
speaks quietly to his children,
begins to live once more.

-John Haines

Wake up. Day calls you

Wake up. Day calls you
to your life: your duty.
And to live, nothing more.
Root it out of the glum
night and the darkness
that covered your body
for which light waited
on tiptoe in the dawn.
Stand up, affirm the straight
simple will to be
a pure slender virgin.
Test your body's metal.
cold, heat? Your blood
will tell against the snow,
or behind the window.
The colour
in your cheeks will tell.
And look at people. Rest
doing no more than adding
your perfection to another
day. Your task
is to carry your life high,
and play with it, hurl it
like a voice to the clouds
so it may retrieve the light
already gone from us.
That is your fate: to live
Do nothing.
Your work is you, nothing more .

-Pedro Salinas


It hovers in dark corners
before the lights are turned on,
it shakes sleep from its eyes
and drops from mushroom gills,
it explodes in the starry heads
of dandelions turned sages,
it sticks to the wings of green angels
that sail from the tops of maples.
It sprouts in each occluded eye
of the many-eyed potato,
it lives in each earthworm segment
surviving cruelty,
it is the motion that runs the tail of a dog,
it is the mouth that inflates the lungs
of the child that has just been born.
It is the singular gift
we cannot destroy in ourselves,
the argument that refutes death,
the genius that invents the future,
all we know of God.
It is the serum which makes us swear
not to betray one another;
it is in this poem, trying to speak.

-Liesl Mueller


. . . to all those who have wondered if America's beacon still burns as bright - tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from our the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding hope.
- President-elect Barack Obama
Nov. 4, 2008



Don't Feed The Pixies said...

Hi Lydia - i had a feeling there would be a connection to Obama on this one!

I truly hope that he's everything you think he is and not just another politician making promises he can't keep = when Tony Blair came to power after umpteen years of Conservative rule there was lots of talk about "things can only get better", but really this should have been "the more things change, the more they stay the same"

Still - for what it's worth i'm glad he's won!

Lydia said...

Thanks for stopping by after such an exciting night for the U.S. and basically the whole world.
I do remember the hype and hope around Blair and suspect that his being on the world stage along with George W. Bush was a drag on him....

Naomi said...

as a very biased old lady, i loved all on this post. i want to believe and have to do so: both my children were so thrilled by Obama's triumph.

of course we will not be thrilled with everything his administration does. there is so very much to be undone, corrected. for me it's important to stay toward the positive.

Lydia said...

Yes, you are right. We need to be level-headed in our expectations of what can be done and in what kind of time frame. He needs the people behind him. I looked at the recent post by "I think this world is perfect" (see blogroll) and it's a wonderful piece about his two little daughters' interest in the election. What impressed me more, however, were the comments by people who hadn't voted for Obama but saw the history of this election as phenomenal. I have hope that we'll see more unity than we'd ever have thought possible.

Honour said...

Congratulations dear Lydia on all your hard work supporting this campaign! You've given hope to all of us that democracy still works!



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