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The Monday Poem > 20th June 2016 - Questions from A Worker Who Reads - Bertold Brecht

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message 1: by LauraT (new)

LauraT (laurata) | 13121 comments Mod
Who built Thebes of the seven gates?
In the books you will find the name of kings.
Did the kings haul up the lumps of rock?
And Babylon, many times demolished.
Who raised it up so many times? In what houses
Of gold-glittering Lima did the builders live?
Where, the evening that the Wall of China was finished
Did the masons go? Great Rome
Is full of triumphal arches. Who erected them? Over whom
Did the Caesars triumph? Had Byzantium, much praised in song,
Only palaces for its inhabitants? Even in fabled Atlantis
The night the ocean engulfed it
The drowning still bawled for their slaves.

The young Alexander conquered India.
Was he alone?
Caesar beat the Gauls.
Did he not have even a cook with him?
Philip of Spain wept when his armada
Went down. Was he the only one to weep?
Frederick the Second won the Seven Years' War. Who
Else won it?

Every page a victory.
Who cooked the feast for the victors?
Every ten years a great man.
Who paid the bill?

So many reports.
So many questions.


message 2: by LauraT (new)

LauraT (laurata) | 13121 comments Mod
This is how I see the History, the one with capital H.
I've loved this "didascalic" poem since I was in school ...


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

Great choice, Laura. I'm a huge fan of Brecht. The theme really hits home with me. Well done!


message 4: by Gill (new)

Gill | 5720 comments An excellent poem, Laura. Thanks.


message 5: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 15985 comments I love this! Thanks so much for sharing it Laura.


message 6: by Alannah (new)

Alannah Clarke (alannahclarke) | 11536 comments Mod
Excellent poem Laura, thanks for sharing it.


message 7: by Greg (new)

Greg | 7339 comments Mod
Oops, I just saw this posting; sorry for posting so late.

This poem is so true Laura, very thought provoking. History is written as though it's the leaders that matter, but without everyone else, there'd be no history to write!!


message 8: by LauraT (new)

LauraT (laurata) | 13121 comments Mod
Thanks all. Greg this is exactly what I think


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