Monday, May 31, 2010

Tuesday Poem: Alan Dugan's "One used to . . . "

Untitled Poem

One used to be able to say
what Seneca said to Nero:
"However many people you kill
you can never kill your successor."
But now the joke may not
be necessarily true: we might
have done it already. So let's
remember what the poet Oppian said:
"The hunting of Dolphins is immoral
and the man who wilfully kills them
will not only not go to the gods
as a welcome sacrifice, or touch
their altars with clean hands, but will
even pollute the people under his own roof."

Tuesday Poem, a community of poets, is based in New Zealand.


  1. Dear Mim - this poem is the perfect (albeit terrible) synthesis for 'today' and all that is contained in and being asked of us during these times. The final lines - those spoken directly to the reader - bring me to my knees.
    Thank you.
    L, Claire

  2. this cuts to the chase; and i like that pic of him, too, Mim. good one, all around!

  3. What is to be done? I'm afraid this may be an unending catastrophe.

  4. I love the photograph! so narrow shouldered....and upright...
    it's hard to watch the oil spill...we are so endlessly stupid, so bent on profit, so careless...

  5. It's a very apposite poem for our times, I would say. Many thanks.

    Greetings from London.

  6. Of course one can't help think of the Gulf of Mexico while reading this. Chilling and to the point. Thanks, Mim!

  7. What an excellent choice. Thank you.

  8. Mim-

    I have always loved Alan Dugan's work.

    He has some hard bark on him.

    He can be the antidote to sentimentality, like a glass of ice cold water or a broken leg.

    You continue to inspire me, without fail.



  9. It cheers me to hear from you all!

    Tearful: Yours for terse beauty . . .