Reposting Today’s Message from Poetry.org

poetry.org

The birthday of the world

On the birthday of the world I begin to contemplate what I have done and left undone, but this year not so much rebuilding  

of my perennially damaged psyche, shoring up eroding friendships, digging out stumps of old resentments that refuse to rot on their own.  

No, this year I want to call myself to task for what I have done and not done for peace. How much have I dared in opposition?  

How much have I put on the line for freedom? For mine and others? As these freedoms are pared, sliced and diced, where   have I spoken out?

Who have I tried to move? In this holy season, I stand self-convicted of sloth in a time when lies choke   the mind and rhetoric bends reason to slithering choking pythons.

Here I stand before the gates opening, the fire dazzling   my eyes, and as I approach what judges me, I judge myself. Give me weapons of minute destruction. Let my words turn into sparks.
Marge Piercy, “The Birthday of the World” from The Crooked Inheritance. Copyright © 2006 by Marge Piercy. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved.

A Note from the Editor

Today is the beginning of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year celebration. Three unique sets of prayers are added to the morning service during Rosh Hashanah: Malkhuyot, which address the sovereignty of God; Zikhronot, which present God as the one who remembers past deeds; and Shofarot, in which participants stand in nervous anticipation of the future. Each of these sections culminates in blasts of the shofar or horn, the most potent symbol of the holiday.

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