Literature Of Pity – David Punter

Literature Of Pity – David Punter


We should be ashamed. So many poor, so many
Destitute, so many ravaged by hunger and disease.
What might it take to remind us? An empty cloak,
A hollow façade to hide our shame.

Hunched in the shadow of Europe’s ancient capitals,
Close by the cathedral, in the main square,
Where do we look if we look away? Only into ourselves,
Our own loss of pity, our deficiency of soul.

Bring on the marching bands, bring on freedom;
But the freedom of nations is not enough to absolve
The terrible unfreedom of suffering,
All those unheard voices, like ghosts, like wind.

We would have hoped by now, wouldn’t we, that
Those remains, those ashes, would have been reminder
Enough; but this, perhaps, is just a beginning; what
The wild wind sweeps away it can restore.

David Punter
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