Friday, April 13, 2007

REQUIEM FOR EARTH

This is so typically Kurt Vonnegut. It's from A Man Without a Country (2005)

The crucified planet Earth,
should it find a voice
and a sense of irony,
might now well say
of our abuse of it,
"Forgive them, Father,
They know not what they do."

The irony would be
that we know what
we are doing.

When the last living thing
has died on account of us,
how poetical it would be
if Earth could say,
in a voice floating up
perhaps
from the floor
of the Grand Canyon,
"It is done."
People did not like it here.

2 comments:

  1. Dear John,

    Here is one of my very favorite quotes from Vonnegut (from his book Timequakes):

    I still quote Eugene Debs (1855-1926), late of Terre Haute, Indiana, five times the Socialist Party's candidate for President, in every speech:
    'While there is a lower class I am in it, while there is a criminal element I am of it; while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.'
    In recent years, I've found it prudent to say before quoting Debs that he is to be taken seriously. Otherwise many in the audience will start to laugh. They are being nice, not mean, knowing I like to be funny. But it is also a sign of these times that such a moving echo of the Sermon on the Mount can be perceived as outdated, wholly discredited horsecrap.
    Which it is not.

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  2. Debs and Vonnegut: two of Indiana's great ones...in spite of us.

    I've been thinking, prodded by a few insightful friends over the past week, that maybe Vonnegut was more Gospel-wise and Kingdom aware than typically perceived.

    Perhaps his perceived and articulated agnosticism was a ruse. We may never know what he really beleived. But perhaps in his words and humor and outspokenness, Vonnegut was not letting any of get away with such small, self-justifying, self-serving ideas about God and religion. What do you think?

    ReplyDelete

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