Anyone in a mood for some more poetry applicable to modern politics? One of the authors who write with power and insight is W. H. Auden. He was a magnificent writer and even those who don’t read poetry probably know at least Funeral Blues from the film Four Weddings and A Funeral.
My favorite poem of his The Shield of Achilles. You can read the whole thing on the link, but the basic premise is the ideal desired against the reality that appears. It shifts back and forth from myth to outcome and from ancient past to modern-day. The beautiful Thetis, mother to Achilles, commissions a shield for her son to carry into battle. She expects all the glories of patriotism and noble ideals to be celebrated by joyous participants. What she gets is very different.
The hardest stanza for me to read is the one about what war (or for that matter crime and poverty) does to children:
That girls are raped, that two boys knife a third,
Were axioms to him, who’d never heard
Of any world where promises were kept,
Or one could weep because another wept.
Whether it is the middle east, Ferguson, or just politicians making promises they can’t keep, always remember there will be unforeseen consequences.