Sunday, November 29, 2015

THE PEOPLE By Campanella. (1931)

From the April 1931 issue of the Socialist Standard
The people is a beast of muddy brain
That knows not its own force, and therefore stands
Loaded with wood and stone; the powerless hands
Of a mere child guide it with bit and rein;
One kick would be enough to break the chain;
But the beast fears, and what the child demands,
It does; nor its own terror understands,
Confused and stupefied by bugbears vain.
Most wonderful: With its own hand it ties
And gags itself—gives itself death and war.
For pence doled out by kings from its own store.
Its own are all things between earth and heaven;
But this it knows not; and if one arise
To tell this truth, it kills him unforgiven.
(Translated by J. A. Symonds.)

1 comment:

imposs1904 said...

For more info on Tommaso Campanella, check out his wiki page:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tommaso_Campanella

This particular poem was featured in Upton Sinclair's 1915 edited anthology, 'The Cry for Justice: An Anthology of the Literature of Social Protest'.

Campanella is briefly mentioned in this 1986 Socialist Standard review of Marie-Louise Berneri's 'Journey Through Utopia':
http://socialiststandardmyspace.blogspot.com/2013/10/pies-in-sky.html