Thursday, June 18, 2015

A Little Poem Remembering the Slaughter at Charleston's Emanuel AME Church

O America! Land of the Gun

(in memory of the slaughtered at Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church, June 17, 2015)

O America! Land of the Gun
I weep for thee

and all thy murdered children,
mothers, grandmothers,
fathers, sons, and daughters.

Your flaw is a knife wound
deep into this heart.

Your sin could be healed,

If you only had the will.

Bob Coughlin / June 18, 2015

[I know this poem is a bit odd. I begin using the older words "thee" and "thy" because this part of the poem reminds me of prayers and hymns written in that old voice. I was also thinking of Walt Whitman's use of those words--and Allen Ginsburg. Then I switch gears and use the more modern words "you" and "your(s)." I'm speaking more directly, in a more modern voice here. Another switch I made was from the language of guns to the image of a knife. That was certainly on purpose. I thought how guns are not the only instruments of murder; you can kill with knives and fists too! But guns are the main weapons of mass murder in America. And guns are easily available to anyone--from psychopaths to murderous haters. The end of the poem uses religious terms ("sin" and "healing") and implies that things can be done to change this situation, but the will doesn't seem to be there.]

1 comment:

Joe Metz said...
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