Sunday, June 20, 2010

Tragic Hope

Does lack of destiny kill tragedy?
The Age of Great Napoleon brought forth
No tragedies. And Stalin's Russia, too,
Produced no Aeschylus of their far north.

But they believed in Destiny! They ruled
Two countries who believed in Destiny.
Instead of Shakespeare, all we saw was death --
Blood flowed with every promise we'd be free.

Perhaps it isn't destiny, but hope --
No Golden Age behind us, future bright
Instead -- the promise of emergence with
The dangers still in sight -- but we will fight.

This is the promise and the threat of hubris --
The tragic hero must be born in hope --
And he must struggle to break free and stretch
Us to new worlds while tethered to a rope.

This isn't Destiny. This isn't death
That just destroys, inhuman, in its good
Intentions. No. It's growing tall so lightning
Rounds off our top -- a massive, tall redwood.

I pray then that we're ripe for tragic art,
That we are pregnant now with future, not
A Destiny that destroys man and cuts
Him off from his humanity, to rot.
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