From John Pierpont (1785 – 1866)
We all re-invent and undergo major self-renewals in our lives. Teaching poetry to young and active minds in my youth, I often asked students to seek the compressed multiple lessons in a single piece of poetry, no matter how compact. Our discussions unfolded not only the elements of poetic thought but our own positions as well. And each year brought a new and vibrant re-interpretation from the points of view of those who would live so much beyond my own lifetime. We all become strangers in our own land, but we also hold on collectively to what is good and noble.
This single poem by John Pierpont, a graduate of Yale, Unitarian minister, abolitionist, and would-be chaplain in the raging Civil War of the United States is certainly worth another careful look in these turbulent times:
A weapon that comes down as still
As snowflakes fall upon the sod;
But executes a freeman’s will,
As lightning does the will of God.
I wish you well and health as this terribly important lesson in Democracy runs its course.
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