Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Day 288: It Is Dangerous to Read Newspapers

This poem came into my head after hearing the news about the explosions in Boston last night. 

I think it demonstrates how we can't stick our heads in the sand when it comes to all the cruel happenings in life. And how poetry doesn't let us ignore them either.

It Is Dangerous to Read Newspapers - Margaret Atwood

While I was building neat
castles in the sandbox,
the hasty pits were
filling with bulldozed corpses
and as I walked to the school
washed and combed, my feet
stepping on the cracks in the cement
detonated red bombs.

Now I am grownup
and literate, and I sit in my chair
as quietly as a fuse

and the jungles are flaming, the under-
brush is charged with soldiers,
the names on the difficult
maps go up in smoke.

I am the cause, I am a stockpile of chemical
toys, my body
is a deadly gadget,
I reach out in love, my hands are guns,
my good intentions are completely lethal.

Even my
passive eyes transmute
everything I look at to the pocked
black and white of a war photo,
can I stop myself

It is dangerous to read newspapers.

Each time I hit a key
on my electric typewriter,
talking of peaceful trees

another village explodes.


  1. This is a great idea! Do you write poetry yourself? This is really good poetry too, especially today's. It's something out of the past, like nostalgic but current because of Boston.

  2. Thank you! Yes, I do indeed :)
    I try to post all contemporary poems mostly!


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