Friday, June 15, 2007

There Will Come Soft Rains

Today is Friday, 15 June 2007.

In 1215, Magna Carta was forced by the vicious barons from King John.

On this day in 1904, the day excursion ship, General Slocum, caught fire and burned, in far Upper New York Harbour. Some 1100 were burned to death.

One may still see a memorial to the dead in Tompkins Square Park, in the East Village, a slight pillar topped by a sleeping baby, worn down almost to incomprehensibility by the years and elements.

On an up [?] note: “There Will Come Soft Rains”, a poem by Sara Teasdale, from 1920, reacting to what they then thought was the post/pre-apocalyptic Great War, which poem also figures in a famous Ray Bradbury short story. I note this because this 5.52 CDT AM, we have soft rains, and frogs are singing in our pond, birds sing out their tiny chests, and, for a shimmering moment, one has hope for humanity, and one continues to hope and strive for that moment, and many moments to come:

There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;
And frogs in the pool singing at night,
And wild plum trees in tremulous white;
Robins will wear their feathery fire,
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;
And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.
Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,
If mankind perished utterly;
And Spring herself when she woke at dawn
Would scarcely know that we were gone.

And now a video i found, so thanks to HamburgerParty, and Ferris High School, and Nathan Mascardo, A.C.E., you did great, and hope you don't mind my including you here:


Anonymous Hari said...

And don't forget the Ray Bradbury story by the same name.

11:16 AM  
Anonymous Della Street said...

Let us take a moment to remember that the writ of habeas corpus was established on this date (part of the Magna Carta). It has survived these many years and now is under attack in the name of national security. Frankly, I felt much more secure before the current regime began changing the rules.

I also thank you for the beautiful poem in today's column which reminds me of what is important... and what is not.

11:22 AM  
Blogger HH said...

Hari and Della,

Sorri, Hari, my bad: i referenced the Bradbury story in the original draft of this colyum, and it was somewho lost in transition.

Always grateful that a fellow psychohistorian is on my case.

Della: my fav paralegal, who was, in reality, as much a legal eagle as Perry. And, in this case, even more eagle-eyed.

Yes, I should have broke the gavel ranting about habeas corpus.

Can there be any more fundamental right, under law, than that the State be prohibited from indefinitely detaining someone in a sordid jail (and, having been in several, I think HH can safely say, without fear of contradiction, that there is no such thing as a non-sordid jail, jails being, by their very nature, wicked and sordid places, even for those who are wicked and sordid (and those who are most wicked and sordid, which is to say, those who commit crimes wholesale (e.g., R. Nixon, V. Putin. G. Bush) rather than retail (John Doe), never see the inside), and such jails, wicked and sordid, emphasis added to gild the lily, accomplish nothing other than exclusion, and certainly not change or reform)without judicial review, and therefore should not the greatest of shame rest upon the American people, for tolerating the assaults upon this sacred right perpetrated by the Bush-Cheney-Rove-etc. criminal regime, who should be by rights residing in a wicked and sordid jail somewhere?

And yes: given proper classical public speaking training, one can declaim that last sentence in one breath, a la C. Darrow.

12:48 PM  
Anonymous Hari said...

The Bradbury story is especially apropos on this day that the 1957 Plymouth Belvedere was unearthed from a Tulsa time capsule. Like Bradbury's automated house, the car was overcome by the elements.

10:38 AM  

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