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“The Lesson for Today” by Robert Frost

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"“The Lesson for Today” by Robert Frost"

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I’m liberal. You, you aristocrat,
Won’t know exactly what I mean by that.
I mean so altruistically moral
I never take my own side in a quarrel.

http://www.rblewis.net/technology/EDU506/WebQuests/frost/robertfrostpicture.gifNY Times columnist Maureen Dowd ends her evisceration of President Obama’s fecklessness with that quote from Robert Frost’s poem “The Lesson for Today.”  The poem is satirical (and not as easy to find online as one might expect — try here).

Frost read the poem at Harvard’s Phi Beta Kappa Society seven decades ago — June 20, 1941.  Plus ça change.

My thought for the day:  Progressives are liberals who will take their own side!

Like so many Frost poems, the poem has a great ending:

And were an epitaph to be my story
I’d have a short one ready for my own.
I would have written of me on my stone:
I had a lover’s quarrel with the world.

My favorite Frost poem is an epitaph for the planet:

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

Sadly, the planet need only perish once — and fire melts ice….

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