#NationalPoetryMonth 19/30

But the man in the position of great honor does not understand
the man who has power
the fat dictator with a chest full of medals
he smiles at the thought that he cannot die
he does not realize that he like those animals
fattened for sacrifice at the festival

— from “Let All Nations Hear Me”

Today’s read: The Psalms Of Struggle and Liberation by Ernesto Cardenal – Herder and Herder – 1971
Foreword by Thomas Merton, Translation by Emile G. McAnany, Photography by Robert Rush

The foreword for this collection is a very brief intro by Thomas Merton is a real joy as I did not know that Merton was a mentor of Cardenal. Merton is one of the few writers that can blend Catholic dogma with modern poetic sensibility and this hybrid is clear in this collection. Another unexpected bonus is the photography of Robert Rush. The combination of biblical language, Nicaragüense political urgency, and 70s urban images is pure delight. The extra bonus is that Cardenal’s prayers for his people to rise to vocalize their disdain for the political bourgeoisie makes this an incredibly urgent and current work. The above stanza not only applies to 45 but can also be used to describe the anti-COVID Americans who see themselves as medal toting patriots who can not wait to rush back to their old normal.

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