Friday, July 03, 2020

Poetry Friday: When People Say...

John Green referenced this poem on his podcast The Anthropocene Reviewed, which I frequently listen to with my son. In June's episode, he reviewed seventeen suggestions from listeners. One was the pandemic. While he acknowledged that people like to find silver linings and say that everything is really good even though it looks bad, he gave the pandemic one star, his lowest rating.

When people say "we have made it through worse before"
by Clint Smith

all I hear is the wind slapping against the gravestones
of those who did not make it, those who did not
survive to see the confetti fall from the sky, those who

did not live to watch the parade roll down the street.

Here's the rest.

Tune in next week when I will be hosting Poetry Friday here on my blog for the first time. Today's roundup is hosted by Linda Mitchell here.


Linda Mitchell said...

Thanks for sharing this with Poetry Friday, Ruth

Bridget Magee said...

Wow, that is a powerful perspective on the glass half-full theory. I think Green's one star rating for the pandemic is too high. It should be minus infinity. Sigh, thanks for sharing Smith's poem and for hosting next week. I look forward to joining you. :)

Mary Lee said...

Thank you for the Clint Smith poem. He nailed it. I tend to agree with Bridget on John Greene's rating. Maybe, though, the pandemic should get the one star and the US response should be the one to get negative infinity.

laurasalas said...

Wow. That is a powerful poem. Thank you for sharing, Ruth.

Janice Scully said...

Thank you for sharing this poem and this poet. It's wonderful and so truthful.

Michelle Kogan said...

Powerful and sensitive too, and isn't this true, "Sometimes the moral arc of the universe

does not bend in a direction that will comfort us."
I think Clint Smith's voice needs to continue–thank you for sharing him with us Ruth. I agree with the comments above on the Pandemic scoring, with the US getting negative infinity–we need to turn this around and fast. Looking forward to your post next week!

Molly Hogan said...

That is a powerful poem, Ruth. I've been thinking a lot about the facets of optimism lately. Thank you for introducing me to this poem and this poet.(I'm also with Mary Lee on the negative infinity rating for the US response.)

Carol Varsalona said...

Ruth, I have been on a Pandemic theme kick lately. This past week, I shared with my graduate students several pandemic poems and asked them to ponder and create. I took one of those poems and created a golden shovel with my new thoughts on the matter. Thanks for adding this poem by Clint Smith that I will now add to my grad class resources list.
Powerful Line that resonates with me and give me a moment to pause on the fate of the nation and its people:
"Some of us have
become ghosts by the time the dust has settled."

jan godown annino said...

Hi Ruth
You will do mighty fine this Friday - no worries. Appreciations for the intro (for me, anyway) to Clint Smith & John Green. You bring so much depth to my world, always. Jan