WHY THE HISTORIAN SHOULD BE A POET

 

You who presume to interpret the past
See dry papers that through the years have cast

Bland thick glasses over the why and when

To open doors where we cannot again

 

Know this hard fact your calling is to weave

Purple colours, truths in which we believe,

Sharp light, bleak shade: black and white the meaning

Of an operator without feeling

 

You who presume to translate the tongue,

Reasoning, thought, mood of a distant song

Brush brash, brusque, on canvas of the heart,

So be it, but you have not learnt to start

 

That long trek search, seeking to understand

The cry for help that echoed through the land

Hopes, fears, trust, from weathered documents

Go on, divert to road of common sense

 

You who presume, of what life do you know?

Divine discontent? How volcanoes glow?

Storm gusts? Thunderous claps? Count it a crime

To be unaware how it is we rhyme

 

David Speed

May 20th 2011