Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Old Postcard Wednesday--Bird's Eye View of Lewiston, Idaho

This one is for Pfc. Bowe R. Bergdahl, from Hailey, Idaho, who is held captive somewhere in Afghanistan. I hoped I'd find an old postcard featuring an Idaho scene among my stash, and I did. Lewiston, the site of this postcard, isn't a close neighbor to Hailey, but I imagine most Idahoans think of Pfc Bergdahl as their own ..... and I imagine that he would love nothing better than to see this view from a plane on his way home to his family and fiance'.

Whether he is a hero, as the comments following this news article claim him to be, or whether he is a deserter, as one *Fox-News analyst intimated, are irrelevant to me. He's a 23-year-old, scared-as-hell human being held hostage by other human beings and when my mind goes there I can't stand the images it flashes for me to deal with.

Someone else hailed from Pfc. Bergdahl's town of Hailey, Idaho -- a great someone who also had his share of controversy during his lifetime.
Ezra Pound was born in Hailey in 1885 (read his bio). I selected the following two poems to wrap up this week's old postcard meditation.

In the Old Age of the Soul
- by Ezra Pound

I do not choose to dream; there cometh on me
Some strange old lust for deeds.
As to the nerveless hand of some old warrior
The sword-hilt or the war-worn wonted helmet
Brings momentary life and long-fled cunning,
So to my soul grown old -
Grown old with many a jousting, many a foray,
Grown old with many a hither-coming and hence-going -
Till now they send him dreams and no more deed;
So doth he flame again with might for action,
Forgetful of the council of elders,
Forgetful that who rules doth no more battle,
Forgetful that such might no more cleaves to him
So doth he flame again toward valiant doing.

- by Ezra Pound

Go, dumb-born book,
Tell her that sang me once that song of Lawes:
Hadst thou but song
As thou hast subjects known,
Then were there cause in thee that should condone
Even my faults that heavy upon me lie
And build her glories their longevity.
Tell her that sheds
Such treasure in the air
Recking naught else but that her graces give
Life to the moment,
I would bid them live
As roses might, in magic amber laid,
Red overwrought with orange and all made
One substance and one colour
Braving time.
Tell her that goes
With song upon her lips
But sings not out the song, nor knows
The maker of it, some other mouth,
May be as fair as hers,
Might, in new ages, gain her worshippers,
When our two dusts with Waller's shall be laid,
Siftings on siftings in oblivion,
Till change hath broken down
All things save Beauty alone.

*[See also "Maddow eviscerates Fox host who wants Taliban to murder captive American soldier." Topic is discussed about middle of video, right after words from Pres. Obama.]



cathwrynn said...

its amazing how little politics matters when we remember each other as human beings.

Recently a buddist aquaintence told me of the belief that each person we meet was either our father/son or mother/daughter in a previous life. How much compassion we can feel when we view people so!

and how little we need to find reasons not to care...

I wish him Home,alive, sooner than seems possible.

the watercats said...

I can only imagine the terror that poor guy must be feeling, it fries my mind too, to think of what us humans do to each other.. in the name of what!?... just to make a point!?.. for creatures with the ability to create and use such beatiful language (as demonstrated by the poems), we're utterly crap at talking to each other. There lies the irony of the human race, beauty in the left, monstrosity in the right... and the place in the middle where all the answers are...

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

I agree with what you say - does it matter how he got there?

The point is that he's being held captive by someone capable of killing him without much thought and our thoughts should be on that.

It saddens me that people are still using religion as an excuse to perpetuate hatred 2000 years after that chap told us all to be nice to one another!

Friko said...

Will it never end? How many more young men must die for some politician's or religious maniac's self-justification!

Here is a quote for everybody who thinks their way is the just way:

"Standing among the ruins, the horror-struck conqueror exclaimed:
'Why do they have to attempt to refuse me my destiny? Why?'

WH Auden

Robin said...

Oh yes....I do hope all ends well for PFC. Bergdahl.
BTW....I love your postcard. I hope to take part in PFF this Friday. I was out of town with no connection last week. I shall hope to see you there. :-)

Hope your day today is beautiful

Looking to the Stars said...

Lovely card. I am holding postive thoughts for him coming home. I don't care what the media says. He is a scared kid in a war that shouldn't be. He belongs here on american soil. Good post, Lydia!

La Belette Rouge said...

The individual stories of those impacted by the horrors of war are not told often enough. My heart goes out to this young man and all who love him.

Lydia said...

@cathwrynn- Your comments were crystal. Thank you for the Buddhist thought to ponder.

@the watercats- Such a fine point you made about our ability to create beautiful words and the travesty we make of them in our "communications."

@Pixies- Your last paragraph...that saddens me too. It also just plain angers me!

@Friko- Never have I heard your voice but somehow I seemed to "hear" you saying the Auden quote. Very fine.

@Robin- Thank you for mentioning the postcard. I think it's a beautiful one, too. The good community of Lewiston, Idaho, got the short end in this particular Old Postcard Wednesday, so I'm glad you mentioned the scene.

@Looking to the Stars- I'm glad you appreciated the post and thanks also for mentioning the card.

@La Belette Rouge- Indeed what you said is true, and your wishes are dear.

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