Saturday, March 02, 2013

Highly recommended reading

Professor Yehuda Bauer shares some very interesting insights into Israel's socio-political reality.

Joep Bertrams over Samsom en de verzorgingsstaat

(gevonden op de website van Joep Bertrams)

Joep Bertrams on Italy 3

(stemmen = 1) voting/votes 2) voices)

(found on the website of Joep  Bertrams)

Joep Bertrams on Italy 2

(found on the website of Joep Bertrams)

Joep Bertrams on Italy I

Last week's elections in Italy, and their results, have inspired Dutch cartoonist Joep Bertrams into making three very funny-sad cartoons.

(found on the website of Joep Bertrams)

Poem for Shabbat XXVIII

After Forty Years of Marriage, She Tries a New Recipe for Hamburger Hot Dish

Leo Dangel

"How did you like it?" she asked.

"It's all right," he said.

"This is the third time I cooked
it this way. Why can't you
ever say if you like something?"

"Well if I didn't like it, I
wouldn't eat it," he said.

"You never can say anything
I cook tastes good."

"I don't know why all the time
you think I have to say it's good.
I eat it, don't I?"

"I don't think you have to say
all the time it's good, but once
in awhile you could say
you like it."

"It's all right," he said.

(found in Garrison Keillor (ed.), Good Poems)

Poem for Shabbat XXVII

My Life - Julie O'Callaghan

Look at it coming
down the street
towards us:
it chokes me up
every time I see it
walking along
all by itself.
How does it know
for example
which corner
is the right one
to turn at?
Who tells it
to keep going
past the intersection
and take the first left
after the supermarket?
There it goes -
I'll follow quietly
and see where
it's off to.

(found in The Oxford Book of Children's Poetry)

Poem for Shabbat XXVI

Will V-Day Be Me-Day Too?

Over There,
World War II.

Dear Fellow Americans,
I write this letter
Hoping times will be better
When this war
Is through.
I'm a Tan-skinned Yank
Driving a tank.

I wear a U. S. uniform.
I've done the enemy much harm,
I've driven back
The Germans and the Japs,
From Burma to the Rhine.
On every battle line,
I've dropped defeat
Into the Fascists' laps.

I am a Negro American
Out to defend my land
Army, Navy, Air Corps--
I am there.
I take munitions through,
I fight--or stevedore, too.
I face death the same as you do

I've seen my buddy lying
Where he fell.
I've watched him dying
I promised him that I would try
To make our land a land
Where his son could be a man--
And there'd be no Jim Crow birds
Left in our sky.

So this is what I want to know:
When we see Victory's glow,
Will you still let old Jim Crow
Hold me back?
When all those foreign folks who've waited--
Italians, Chinese, Danes--are liberated.
Will I still be ill-fated
Because I'm black?

Here in my own, my native land,
Will the Jim Crow laws still stand?
Will Dixie lynch me still
When I return?
Or will you comrades in arms
From the factories and the farms,
Have learned what this war
Was fought for us to learn?

When I take off my uniform,
Will I be safe from harm--
Or will you do me
As the Germans did the Jews?
When I've helped this world to save,
Shall I still be color's slave?
Or will Victory change
Your antiquated views?

You can't say I didn't fight
To smash the Fascists' might.
You can't say I wasn't with you
in each battle.
As a soldier, and a friend.
When this war comes to an end,
Will you herd me in a Jim Crow car
Like cattle?

Or will you stand up like a man
At home and take your stand
For Democracy?
That's all I ask of you.
When we lay the guns away
To celebrate
Our Victory Day
That's what I want to know.

GI Joe.
Langston Hughes

(found  online)

Poem for Shabbat XXV

(I haven't posted anything for over a month, the first blogless month for me since April 2003, I restart with a number of poems that I selected and sent to my colleagues over the last few weeks). 

Tom Wayman - Did I Miss Anything?

Nothing. When we realized you weren’t here
we sat with our hands folded on our desks
in silence, for the full two hours

     Everything. I gave an exam worth
     40 percent of the grade for this term
     and assigned some reading due today
     on which I’m about to hand out a quiz
     worth 50 percent

Nothing. None of the content of this course
has value or meaning
Take as many days off as you like:
any activities we undertake as a class
I assure you will not matter either to you or me
and are without purpose

     Everything. A few minutes after we began last time
     a shaft of light suddenly descended and an angel
     or other heavenly being appeared
     and revealed to us what each woman or man must do
     to attain divine wisdom in this life and
     the hereafter
     This is the last time the class will meet
     before we disperse to bring the good news to all people
          on earth.

Nothing. When you are not present
how could something significant occur?

     Everything. Contained in this classroom
     is a microcosm of human experience
     assembled for you to query and examine and ponder
     This is not the only place such an opportunity has been

     but it was one place

     And you weren’t here

(found in Billy Collins (ed.), Poetry 180)