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Sunday, December 11, 2005

An Ode on the Death of Sen. Eugene McCarthy

It was a tragic year for the Democratic party and for responsible politics...the Party became a kind of unrelated bloc of factions, each refusing accomodation with another.
Sen. Gene - Interview in 1988

Terrible Infants

Why did we think it was easy?
Perhaps, everything always had been,
All America was pregnant in the Fifties
A generation of terrible infants was born.
A science was made of our feedings,
Our bowels were of national interest
New schools were built, new teachers trained
Se we should want nothing
So we could be everything.

The Phonics and New Math we mastered
Let us sneer at our ignorant parents
Those yokels! Only Youth could be virtuous,
Only the Youngest, the Best and the Brightest.
Our Messiah, the President, lasted three years
Hearts aflame, we vowed service, purest belief.
Teenagers, we knew we’d change everything.
The world had only been waiting
For the Terrible Infants to come.

A Revolution was held, so everybody came
When we learned that the races weren’t equal.
Such well-fed rebels, so shocked and self-righteous
Guilty parents had done this, our soft hands were clean.
We scorned all possessions, except perhaps stereos
Our Prophets and Poets wrote lyrics to live up to
Intricate lyrics of love, peace and power.
Music opened our souls
As drugs opened our minds.

Too young to vote, we took on all politics.
Go Clean for Gene – our civics text hero!
Chicago taught brutally that virtue could lose.
VietNam made us choose between honor and drugs.
When we couldn’t serve both, our songs turned to lies.
St. Jack bid us serve, but had he meant Asia?
We wanted to heal and not kill other nations.
Soldier and Hippie both fought VietNam
Both lost as ideals died in the War.

Bitter, we turned shrewd and cynical quickly.
Let the world save itself as we grabbed what we could.
Satan once tempted Faustus with Knowledge and Beauty
Now She carries a briefcase and talks money markets.
We are practical now, and want government services.
Maturity, we call it, but we flinch to remember
The promises we Terrible Infants once made.
We still should want nothing.
We still could be everything.


Blogger Doug said...

Beautiful, Peter.

8:45 PM  
Blogger Minerva said...

Great poem...
Reminds me of the Augustans...

Hail fellow, well met...


8:05 PM  
Blogger Unadulterated Underdog said...

Thanks for visiting my site!

I wanted to say that I also agree that McCarthy's death was a loss for American politics. He was a definition in keeping leaders of Left and Right on their toes and at least modestly honest. He was a force in pro-American partisanship AGAINST destructive, greed-based politics which guides most Democrats and Republicans these days. He is and will be missed.

In response to your comment on my site, I just want to make it clear that I am against gerrymandering alltogether. As I mentioned in my writing, I believe both sides should work to ensure that ALL voters are represented as best as they can be. If a Democrat in your state gerrymandered, let him pay the penalty. It just so happens that DeLay gerrymandered in Texas and has admitted to it in fact. Thus, I do not see how he can possibly be exhonerated or his actions justified. CHEERS!

9:41 PM  
Blogger Orikinla Osinachi. said...

That was a very good tribute in historical verse.

Treasure the literature.

God bless.

4:17 PM  
Anonymous Jay said...

great blog. my condolonces on McCarthy's death. i placed a bid 2 rent ur blog on Blog Explosion.

11:33 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Wow. Great prose! Great message. This is so true. My only disagreement with this is that some really great music came out of that era (just a personal opinion).

Of course, social upheavel and/or war always produces great music.

Thanks ...

2:34 AM  
Blogger Orikinla Osinachi. said...


There is something in your passions I also see in my passions.

I read your poem and since I read McGregory Burns' "The Vineyard of Liberty", I could understand the import of your words in that perfect "An Ode on the Death of Sen. Eugene McCarthy".

Thank you for that hot article on the riots in Paris and other parts of France. You made my day.

Two thumbs up.

We will meet at the top.

Thank you for every visit and every comment.

Happy holidays.

God bless.

4:18 AM  

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