Sonnet in Search of an Author by William Carlos Williams

Nude bodies like peeled logs
sometimes give off the sweetest
odor, man and woman

under the trees in full excess
matching the cushion of

aromatic pine-drift fallen
threaded with trailing woodbine
a sonnet might be made of it

Might be made of it! odor of excess
odor of pine needles, odor of
peeled logs, odor of no odor
other than trailing woodbine that

has no odor, odor of nude woman
sometimes, odor of man.

sleep

if it comes
it comes with immediacy
the eyes sag
the body caves in
on itself
and for a brief moment
there is relief
unfortunately
all too brief
before being blown away
by the wind
that howls outside
my conscious door

a Robert McNamara quote from the Errol Morris film The Fog of War

revisited this documentary after watching the film The Post for the second time

Leonard Durso

“I think the human race needs to think more about killing, about conflict. Is that what we want in this 21st Century?”

Robert McNamara was, among other positions, the Secretary of Defense under Presidents Kennedy & Johnson from 1960-67.

The Fog of War is a film of candid interviews with Robert McNamara and archival footage from various periods of 20th Century world history relating, but not exclusively, to war

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from E.M. Forster’s A Passage to India

Aziz liked to hear his religion praised. It soothed the surface of his mind, and allowed beautiful images to form beneath. When the engineer’s noisy tirade was finished, he said. “That is exactly my own view.” He held up his hand, palm outward, his eyes began to glow, his heart to fill with tenderness. Issuing still farther from his quilt, he recited a poem by Ghalib. It had no connection with anything that had gone on before, but it came from his heart and spoke to theirs. They were overwhelmed by its pathos; pathos, they agreed, is the higher quality in art; a poem should touch the hearer with a sense of his own weakness, and should institute some comparison between mankind and flowers. The squalid bedroom grew quiet; the silly intrigues, the gossip, the shallow discontent were stilled, while words accepted as immortal filled the indifferent air. Not as a call to battle, but as a calm assurance came the feeling that India was one; Moslem; always had been; an assurance that lasted until they looked out of the door. Whatever Ghalib had felt, he had lived in India, and this consolidated it for them: he had gone with his tulips and roses, but tulips and roses do not go. And the sister kingdoms of the north–Arabia, Persia, Ferghana, Turkestan–stretched out their hand as he sang, sadly, because all beauty is sad, and greeted ridiculous Chandrapore, where every street and house was divided against itself, and told her that she was a continent and a unity.

Of the company, only Hamidullah had any comprehension of poetry. The minds of the others were inferior and rough. Yet they listened with pleasure, because literature had not been divorced from their civilization. The police inspector, for instance, did not feel Aziz had degraded himself by reciting, nor break into the cheery guffaw with which an Englishman averts the infection of beauty. He just sat with his mind empty, and when his thoughts, which were mainly ignoble, flowed back into it they had a pleasant freshness. The poem had done no “good” to anyone, but it was a passing reminder, a breath from the divine lips of beauty, a nightingale between two worlds of dust. Less explicit than the call to Krishna, it voiced  our loneliness nevertheless, our isolation, our need for the Friend who never comes yet is not entirely disproved.