(Poem #1383) Untitled
To my granddaughters who visited the Holocaust Museum on the day of the burial of Yitzak Rabin, November 6th 1995. Now you know the worst we humans have to know about ourselves, and I am sorry, for I know you will be afraid. To those of our bodies given without pity to be burned, I know there is no answer but loving one another even our enemies, and this is hard. But remember: when a man of war becomes a man of peace, he gives a light, divine though it is also human. When a man of peace is killed by a man of war, he gives a light. You do not have to walk in darkness. If you have the courage for love, you may walk in light. It will be the light of those who have suffered for peace. It will be your light.
from: A Timbered Choir, The Sabbath Poems 1979-1997 I should probably be sitting on my hands having already submitted a poem to you recently but I discovered this was not on your site. It has been pinned to the bulletin board next to my desk for quite a while. I was tracking down a poem by Denise Levertov which I found on minstrels. I then wondered if Mr. Berry made an appearance and discovered he did not nor could I find this poem anywhere on the internet. With all that has happened since his death, Rabin's life and death are even more significant. And more tragic. The 8th anniversary of his death approaches and the poem's sentiment could not be more timely. Being a military veteran (retired, full career) and a pacifist contains some inherent conflicts and guilt. I've Berry's poem by my desk for a year now and still nearly weep every time I read the first four lines. This poem speaks to me in all of the ways that give me hope. Hope in times like these when the cry of havock calls forth in my name, in all of our names. Hope when I feel so helpless to effect any change. And Hope that my actions in the second half of my life wiill create a light to burn after me. That my children and theirs can see just a little further in the darkness and make their contribution to the advancement of civilization. Bill Schubert Biography: [broken link] http://www.poets.org/poets/poets.cfm?prmID=692 http://www.heureka.clara.net/art/berry.htm