A heartsong doesn’t have to be a song in your heart. It doesn’t have to be talking about love and peace. It can just be your message. It can be your feeling. Some people might even call it a conscience, even though that’s not really what it is. It’s your message, what you feel like you need to do.
It was not necessary and might even have been disadvantageous for a government to claim a direct personal commission and communion of the kind God had given some rulers in the Old Testament. A working government might need the support of the Church but not of God Himself in a voice from on high.
Alas for the affairs of men! When they are fortunate you might compare them to a shadow; and if they are unfortunate, a wet sponge with one dash wipes the picture away.
And most importantly perhaps, children can learn about their rights, share their knowledge with the children of other nations, identify problems with them and establish how they might work together to address them.
Most Americans aren’t the sort of citizens the Founding Fathers expected; they are contented serfs. Far from being active critics of government, they assume that its might makes it right.
If poetry should address itself to the same needs and aspirations, the same hopes and fears, to which the Bible addresses itself, it might rival it in distribution.
One might almost say that the history of geographical discovery, properly so called, begins with Captain Cook, the motive of whose voyages was purely scientific curiosity.
It’s clear on the one hand that an education enriches and informs a response to beauty, even makes it possible in esoteric cases. On the other hand, there’s no question that someone with no musical education whatsoever might wander into a concert hall and be overwhelmed by the ‘Beethoven Pastoral Symphony’.
For a lot of people, well-meaning teaching has made poetry seem arcane, difficult, a kind of brown-knotting medicine that might be good for you but doesn’t taste so good. So I tried to make a collection of poetry that would be fun. And that would bring out poetry as an art, rather than the challenge to say smart things.
Consumers of meat, eggs and dairy products might well ask what they are supporting. Do farmers care about anyone but themselves? Can’t anyone see the cow for the cheese?