5.30.2022 – piece of cloth, a sound

piece of cloth, a sound
make something not cloth nor sound
totems of love, hate

Adapted from the passage:

A flag is a piece of cloth and a word is a sound,
But we make them something neither cloth nor a sound,
Totems of love and hate

From the poem, John Brown’s Body by Stephen Vincent Benét.

According to Wikipedia

, John Brown’s Body (1928) is an epic American poem written by Stephen Vincent Benét. Its title references the radical abolitionist John Brown, who raided the federal armory at Harpers Ferry in Virginia in October 1859. He was captured and hanged later that year. Benét’s poem covers the history of the American Civil War. It won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1929.

The photo is of my Great Great Grand Fathers grave.

When he was 18, he joined the 16th Michigan Volunteer Infantry and later fought in Virginia and wounded in action at the Battle of Gaines Mill on June 27, 1862.

Here is a larger extract from the poem.

One cannot balance tragedy in the scales
Unless one weighs it with the tragic heart.
The other man’s tragedy was the greater one
Since the blind fury tore the huger heart,
But this man’s tragedy is the more pitiful.
Thus the Eastern board and the two defended kings.
But why is the game so ordered, what crowns the kings?
They are cities of streets and houses like other cities.
Baltimore might be taken, and war go on,
Atlanta will be taken and war go on,
Why should these two near cities be otherwise?
We do not fight for the real but for shadows we make.
A flag is a piece of cloth and a word is a sound,
But we make them something neither cloth nor a sound,
Totems of love and hate, black sorcery-stones,
So with these cities.

Even today, We do not fight for the real but for shadows we make.

A flag is a piece of cloth and a word is a sound.

But we make them something neither cloth nor a sound, Totems of love and hate.

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