Citizens identify with something larger than themselves – if one’s country is attacked, it can feel like a personal attack in a way that a fellow bank customer’s account theft does not feel like a personal invasion.
Four of my children are daughters, and I’ve watched them devote themselves to reading books about how little girls learn to become women – how they learn to deal with boys and men, and the different hurdles females have to go over.
I tended to write poems about both social and spiritual problems, and some problems one doesn’t really want to solve, and so the problems themselves are solved. You certainly don’t want to solve problems in poems that haven’t been solved in the world.
I greatly fear some of America’s greatest and most dangerous enemies are such as think themselves her best friends.
But what is the use of preaching the Gospel to men whose whole attention is concentrated upon a mad, desperate struggle to keep themselves alive?
Poets yearn, of course, to be published, read, and understood, but they do little, if anything, to set themselves above the common herd and the daily grind.
I think of America not so much as a single country but as a constellation of groups out there competing for air time, energetically expressing themselves and luxuriating in their right to govern themselves. Freedom is that great vaunted word that’s always applied to our country – and rightly so.
The workers of the nation were tired of waiting for corporate industry to right their economic wrongs, to alleviate their social agony and to grant them their political rights. Despairing of fair treatment, they resolved to do something for themselves.
The finest plans have always been spoiled by the littleness of them that should carry them out. Even emperors can’t do it all by themselves.
Morality arose largely as an empirical defence of the individual and society. Ever since intelligent beings began to be in contact, and consequently in friction, they have felt the need to guard themselves against each other’s encroachments.