As usual, Thomas R. Smith cuts through the externals to touch the beating heart of the issue by setting it in the larger context … that is, within the body politic. His fine poem “Note to Self” begins like this:
Well, we die whether we stay together or fall apart.
Finally the world goes on its way without us.
The most scourge-like name alive today will one day
be spoken seldom if at all. To what purpose
this sighing and raging? To what purpose this pain?
The poem is especially piquant in the wake of last night’s unpresidential debate—or presidential undebate. (Just read the poem!)