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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Work Will Set You Free [Today's News Poem]

Work Will Set You Free

By Khakjaan Wessington

“Unemployment reached highest level on record in 2009...”
-The International Labor Organization, Jan 27, 2010

“...You've never
done something so simple, so obvious,
not because you're too young or too dumb,
not because you're jealous or even mean
or incapable of crying in
the presence of another man, no,
just because you don't know what work is.”

-What Work Is, Philip Levine

“I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain. “
-John Adams

The world is full of people born of guilt.
Disposable or dark or both—they're made
To serve their patrons. Yearning freedom kills
The urge to die. The surest way to thwart:
Implant the hope that slavery's a lie,
That clay can change to flesh. To work in hope
That those we spawn might live as we desire.

They stole the sign at Auschwitz. Lies expire,
Becoming truth with age—and then just lost.
The maxims--never uttered sincerely--
We know that work will never set us free.

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