Incident by Countee Cullen Once riding in old Baltimore, Heart

Incident by Countee Cullen
Once riding in old Baltimore,
Heart-filled, head-filled with glee;
I saw a Baltimorean
Keep looking straight at me.
Now I was eight and very small,
And he was no whit bigger,
And so I smiled, but he poked out
His tongue, and called me, "Nigger."
I saw the whole of Baltimore
From May until December;
Of all the things that happened there
That's all that I remember.
Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792 – 1822)
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shatter'd visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamp'd on these lifeless things,
The hand that mock'd them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains: round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
This is a Photograph of Me
Margaret Atwood (1939 - )
It was taken some time ago
At first it seems to be
a smeared
print: blurred lines and grey flecks
blended with the paper;
then, as you scan
it, you can see something in the left-hand corner
a thing that is like a branch: part of a tree
(balsam or spruce) emerging
and, to the right, halfway up
what ought to be a gentle
slope, a small frame house.
In the background there is a lake,
and beyond that, some low hills.
(The photograph was taken
the day after I drowned.
I am in the lake, in the center
of the picture, just under the surface.
It is difficult to say where
precisely, or to say
how large or how small I am:
the effect of water
on light is a distortion.
but if you look long enough
you will see me.)
Five Ways To Kill A Man
by Edwin Brock (1927-1997)
There are many cumbersome ways to kill a man.
You can make him carry a plank of wood
to the top of a hill and nail him to it. To do this
properly you require a crowd of people
wearing sandals, a cock that crows, a cloak
to dissect, a sponge, some vinegar and one
man to hammer the nails home.
Or you can take a length of steel,
shaped and chased in a traditional way,
and attempt to pierce the metal cage he wears.
But for this you need white horses,
English trees, men with bows and arrows,
at least two flags, a prince, and a
castle to hold your banquet in.
Dispensing with nobility, you may, if the wind
allows, blow gas at him. But then you need
a mile of mud sliced through with ditches,
not to mention black boots, bomb craters,
more mud, a plague of rats, a dozen songs
and some round hats made of steel.
In an age of aeroplanes, you may fly
miles above your victim and dispose of him by
pressing one small switch. All you then
require is an ocean to separate you, two
systems of government, a nation's scientists,
several factories, a psychopath and
land that no-one needs for several years.
These are, as I began, cumbersome ways
to kill a man. Simpler, direct, and much more neat
is to see that he is living somewhere in the middle
of the twentieth century, and leave him there.
Parable of the Old Man and the Young
By Wilfred Owen (1893-1918)
So Abram rose, and clave the wood, and went,
And took the fire with him, and a knife.
And as they sojourned both of them together,
Isaac the first-born spake and said, My Father,
Behold the preparations, fire and iron,
But where the lamb for this burnt-offering?
Then Abram bound the youth with belts and straps,
and builded parapets and trenches there,
And stretchèd forth the knife to slay his son.
When lo! an angel called him out of heaven,
Saying, Lay not thy hand upon the lad,
Neither do anything to him. Behold,
A ram, caught in a thicket by its horns;
Offer the Ram of Pride instead.
But the old man would not so, but slew his son,
And half the seed of Europe, one by one.
Genesis 22
King James Version (KJV)
And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his
son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of
them together.
And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said,
Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is
the lamb for a burnt offering?
And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt
offering: so they went both of them together.
And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built
an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid
him on the altar upon the wood.
And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.
And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said,
Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.
And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing
unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not
withheld thy son, thine only son from me.
And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram
caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and
offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.
And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to
this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.
And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second
And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast
done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son:
That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed
as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore;
and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;
And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou
hast obeyed my voice.