Monday, March 15, 2010

Past vs. Present

I would like to share this Google buzz conversation with you. For context, know that I shared a Paris mapcut by Karen O'Leary:
don - I'm pretty sure I'm just gonna change the label from "Buzz" to "Betsy really wants you to know how great France is by posting a ton of links about it everyday 14 mars
me - well then unfollow me. 14 mars
amy - betsy used to live in paris. 11:10
jake - older than jesus riding a dinosaur. 13:35
I included the date and time so that you are also aware that, yes, my gmail is both in French and military time.

Okay, I am obsessed with all things France and especially Paris-related ones. Moving to Paris was the first big girl thing I did after gaduating college, and I'm never going to get over it. Having said that, I came back to a city that I love perhaps not more, but equally. And so now I shall share one of my favorite poems.

HOG Butcher for the World,
Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat,
Player with Railroads and the Nation's Freight Handler;
Stormy, husky, brawling,
City of the Big Shoulders:

They tell me you are wicked and I believe them, for I have seen your painted women under the gas lamps luring the farm boys.
And they tell me you are crooked and I answer: Yes, it is true I have seen the gunman kill and go free to kill again.
And they tell me you are brutal and my reply is: On the faces of women and children I have seen the marks of wanton hunger.
And having answered so I turn once more to those who sneer at this my city, and I give them back the sneer and say to them:
Come and show me another city with lifted head singing so proud to be alive and coarse and strong and cunning.
Flinging magnetic curses amid the toil of piling job on job, here is a tall bold slugger set vivid against the little soft cities;

Fierce as a dog with tongue lapping for action, cunning as a savage pitted against the wilderness,
Building, breaking, rebuilding,
Under the smoke, dust all over his mouth, laughing with white teeth,
Under the terrible burden of destiny laughing as a young man laughs,
Laughing even as an ignorant fighter laughs who has never lost a battle,
Bragging and laughing that under his wrist is the pulse.
and under his ribs the heart of the people,
Laughing the stormy, husky, brawling laughter of Youth, half-naked, sweating, proud to be Hog Butcher, Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat, Player with Railroads and Freight Handler to the Nation.

- Carl Sandburg

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