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Kamarck, Edward (ed.) / Arts in society: the arts of activism
(1969)

Ignatow, David
Part III: poems of war and revolution: express your will,   p. 356 PDF (685.4 KB)


Page 356

David Ignatow is the author of FIGURE
OF THE HUMAN, RESCUE THE DEAD
and SAY PARDON, in the Wesleyan poetry
series. His COLLECTED POEMS and
JOURNALS will be published in 1971, and
he currently has a Rockefeller grant.
EXPRESS YOUR WILL
Seeing a patch of sky through the trees
I look for a paratrooper
to float down through the leaves
and beg pardon for his intrusion
and ask if I enjoy the weather, sunny and mild.
Of course, of course, I'll answer
enthusiastically and he will unlimber
his gun from his shoulder
and fill me with lead.
I thought so, he will say.
I expected you would find the weather good.
Now take a look at me, he will add,
and turn the gun on himself
and pull the trigger. That's to show you
356                       what I really think, he'll say.
But I'll be dead, leaving him for others
to study. I'll want to die,
my sympathy with him.
How should I live in a stupor,
a gun at my side
as all the others run and hide
to let me stalk them out
with flame and bullet?
Change, change, change
into a paratrooper.
Make yourself a hunter,
kill, express your will.
It was when I shot him
that I felt him
in his staring mouth.


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