Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Poem: Pogo Had it Right

Information and comments on the poem:

Pogo Had it Right

Life Will Get You in the End:
Short Stories by David Satterlee

from the book: Life Will Get You in the End:
Short stories by David Satterlee

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This is an allusion to (or, at least, what should be) an iconic story in mythology about men doing battle with themselves. 

Pogo was a cartoon character created by Walt Kelly. Among many other wise and witty things, he said, "We have met the enemy and he is us." There, that should get you started. 

Pogo Had it Right

I enter the plains to do battle.
I gird up my loins for the fight.
I turn to my bearer for armor.
My helper is nowhere in sight.

In panic I fumble to unsheath my sword.
Striking blindly, I render the air.
I search for the foe that I might dispatch.
But, I’m really the only one there.

In confusion, I retreat from this threat with alarm—
Begging my mind to admit this a dream
Of the night before more than just here and now
In this day, as it truly does seem.

I turn again to check the field
And find it not clear as before,
As I am there to face myself;
A foe that I cannot ignore.
We fought for years to find out who
Was good and who was bad.
But, when at last I won, I lost
The horrible dreams that I’ve had.

But, who can say that I had won,
And who can name the foe?
Yes, who of you can read my heart,
And of its ways to know?
                            December 7, 1970

Re: the 2nd stanza: Bingo. I just made a note to someday write a SciFi story about two friends in a remote battle control room discovering that the field-droid avatars that they are controlling are actually fighting each other. "Oops, 'sorry dude." Remember, you read the surprise ending here first.