A line will take us hours…

We sat together at one summer’s end,
That beautiful mild woman, your close friend,
And you and I, and talked of poetry.
I said, ‘A line will take us hours maybe;
Yet if it does not seem a moment’s thought,
Our stitching and unstitching has been naught.
Better go down upon your marrow-bones
And scrub a kitchen pavement, or break stones
Like an old pauper, in all kinds of weather;
For to articulate sweet sounds together
Is to work harder than all these, and yet
Be thought an idler by the noisy set
Of bankers, schoolmasters, and clergymen
The martyrs call the world.’
“Adam’s Curse,” 1st Stanza, W.B. Yeats
#writing #readings

What he cared about were the ends…

“Of all the Sandinista leaders I met, Humberto Ortega was the first who really troubled me. Without blinking an eye, he manipulated reality to suit his needs. And he did it with such conviction that sometimes I wondered if he actually believed what he was saying, or if he just underestimated my intelligence. He could justify anything. As time went on I realized that what he cared about were the ends. As far as the means to achieve those ends, he was utterly without scruples…

“That experience taught me, in no uncertain terms, that a war can be won with any class of people, but a fair, ethical system of government cannot be put in place if the people who take it upon themselves to do it lack those qualities, or sacrifice those values along the way.”

The Country Under My Skin, Gioconda Belli

#readings #politics