Friday, May 02, 2008


Paradise Forfeit

Fallen from the Apogee like a balefire spark
On Passions to Poison Penn th' Conference Calls: thus they relate,
Error; for she against a counterpoised rebellion
Had slipped long ago; and nothing would serve her now
To have chaired Senates or ascended White House rungs; nor would she escape
By all her Engines, but was headstrong bent
With her insidious crew to build a hell.
Meanwhile the right-winged Heralds in command
Of Soveriegn powers, with awful Company
The Pundits rattle throughout, the Handlers design
A cynical Campaign forthwith to be waged
Of Pandermonium, risen, from foul corruptions
In the Shiny City of Hellary, where her monstrous Surrogate Peers
Whisper in councel.

(apologies to Mr. Milton)

s s s s s

The Progressive
Obama Yes


I am tired of hearing a politician tell me in a political speech that I should not pay attention to political speeches, that they are just “words.” Speeches can wound or heal, as shown by both Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s YouTube snippets and Obama’s eloquent response. Both men’s speeches, as different as they are, offer us a unique opportunity to have a true dialogue on privilege and race and religion in a way that we never had before.

As an educator, a person who works with young people, and who works with words, I am also heartened to see a large number of young men and women find their own political voice in a way that they haven’t in a very long time.

Of course, one can never be sure that any politician will follow through with what he or she promises in the heat of battle, but I believe that Barack Obama has a better idea of what it means to be poor, uninsured, and unemployed, as an increasing number of Americans are these days. He has lived abroad and knows what it is to be an outsider both within and outside this country, a fact recently brought to our attention by the purposeful misuse of those images of him in African garb.

I sometimes mourn the 2000 Al Gore Presidency that might have been. Here in the state of Florida, with our voting irregularities, we handed the upkeep of our environment to big oil and possibly unknowingly chose war over peace.

I fear that we will once again choose legacy and complacency for God knows how many more years.

But we can and must do better, and until my bumper sticker fades into the Florida sun, this is what it’s meant to say.

Edwidge Danticat is a Haitian-American writer living in Miami. Her most recent book, “Brother, I’m Dying,” won the National Book Critics Circle Award for autobiography.

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