(from About This by Vladimir Mayakovsky)
I know what you will think when you read this. You will be embarrassed. You will scoff and sneer. Well I tell you now that everything I feel now, everything I am now is truer and better than anything I shall ever be. Ever. This is me now, the real me. Every day that I grow away from the me that is writing this now is a betrayal and a defeat. I expect you will screw this up into a ball with sophisticated disgust, or at best with tolerant amusement but deep down you will know, you will know that you are smothering what you really, really, were. This is the age when I truly am. From now on my life will be behind me. I tell you now, THIS IS TRUE - truer than anything else I will ever write, feel or know. WHAT I AM NOW IS ME, WHAT I WILL BE IS A LIE.
God has pity on kindergarten children.
He has less pity on school children.
And on grown ups he has no pity at all,
he leaves them alone,
and sometimes they must crawl on all fours
in the burning sand
to reach the first aid station
covered with blood.
But perhaps he will watch over true lovers
and have mercy on them and shelter them
like a tree over the old man
sleeping on a public bench.
Perhaps we too will give them
the last rare coins of compassion
that Mother handed down to us,
so that their happiness will protect us
now and in other days.
by Yehuda Amichai
(Sasha Sokolov, School For Fools)
Behold, the grave of a wicked man,
And near it, a stern spirit.
There came a drooping maid with violets,
But the spirit grasped her arm.
“No flowers for him,” he said.
The maid wept:
“Ah, I loved him.”
But the spirit, grim and frowning:
“No flowers for him.”
Now, this is it —
If the spirit was just,
Why did the maid weep?