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Mary Oliver ~ The Esquimos Have No Word For War

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  • jdaintira@aol.com
    FROM: Panhalla Group [Unable to display image]   The Esquimos Have No Word for “War”   ...   ~ Mary Oliver ~ (New and Selected Poems)          
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 2, 2003
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      FROM:  Panhalla Group

      The Esquimos Have No Word for “War”


      Trying to explain it to them

      Leaves one feeling ridiculous and obscene.

      Their houses, like white bowls,

      Sit on a prairie of ancient snowfalls

      Caught beyond thaw or the swift changes

      Of night and day.

      They listen politely, and stride away.


      With spears and sleds and barking dogs

      To hunt for food.  The women wait

      Chewing on skins or singing songs,

      Knowing that they have hours to spend,

      That the luck of the hunter is often late.


      Later, by fires and boiling bones

      In streaming kettles, they welcome me,

      Far kin, pale brother,

      To share what they have in a hungry time

      In a difficult land.  While I talk on

      Of the southern kingdoms, cannon, armies,

      Shifting alliances, airplanes, power,

      They chew their bones, and smile at one another.

        ~ Mary Oliver ~ 

      (New and Selected Poems)
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