September 24, 2004

"But first to arms, to armor...."


First fight. Then fiddle. Ply the slipping string
With feathery sorcery; muzzle the note
With hurting love; the music that they wrote
Bewitch, bewilder. Qualify to sing
Threadwise. Devise no salt, no hempen thing
For the dear instrument to bear. Devote
The bows to silks and honey. Be remote
A while from malice and from murdering.
But first to arms, to armor. Carry hate
In front of you and harmony behind.
Be deaf to music and to beauty blind.
Win war. Rise bloody, maybe not too late
For having first to civilize a space
Wherein to play your violin wiith grace.

-- Gwendolyn Brooks 1949
(Thanks to Jason Van Steenwyk)

Posted by John Weidner at September 24, 2004 6:50 PM
Weblog by John Weidner