"When power leads man towards arrogance,
poetry reminds him of his limitations.
When power narrows the areas of man's concern,
poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of his existence.
When power corrupts, poetry cleanses.
~ President Kennedy"
FOCUS ON STAR OF JFK
The effect of JFK's death forty years ago is really being felt this November of 2003. It feels like the entire planet is being devoured by his murderers.
When President Kennedy was alive he hated to open the paper in the morning and read lies about himself and his policies. He used to phone journalists and editors and demand they print the truth, which they almost never did. The newspapers at that time - as now - were owned and staffed with people who hated Kennedy and everything he stood for. Had JFK lived - and after finishing his second term - he probably would have created his own newspaper and used it as a means to spread truth and knowledge.
I own a video entitled Life in Camelot that is made up almost entirely of JFK's own words taken from original audio tapes provided by the JFK Library Collection. Sometimes when the lies they tell about him get almost too much to bear I pop it into the VCR and fast forward to the part where JFK says:
"I asked Robert Frost to come and speak at the Inauguration because I felt he had something important to say to those of us who are occupied with the business of government; that he would remind us that we are dealing with life, the hopes and fears of millions of people. He has said it well in a poem called "Choose Something Like a Star" in which he speaks of the fairest star in sight and says,
'It asks little of us here.
It asks of us a certain height,
So when at times the mob is swayed
to carry praise or blame too far,
We may choose something like a star
To stay our mind on and be staid.'"
At the 1964 Democratic Convention in Atlanta City, less than one year after his brother's death, Robert Kennedy was wracked with emotion as he waited out a 22-minute standing ovation. He ended his brief remarks about his slain brother by quoting, at sister-in-law Jackie's suggestion, from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet:
"When he shall die
Take him and cut him out in little stars
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That the world will be in love with night
And pay no worship to the garish sun."
As the wounds of November 22nd, 1963 are re-opened and the lies spew forth I focus on JFK's words as my star. Probably the only antidote for lies is truth.
All the best,
Jackie Jura, 2003
MY ORWELL CONVERSION (contains poem by Robert Frost)
JFK ... THIS NATION'S SON
POEM FOR THIRD ANNIVERSARY AFTER THE ASSASSINATION
IT WASN'T MEANT TO HAPPEN
ROBERT FROST AT THE KENNEDY INAUGURATION, 1961
JFK TRUTH & UNTRUTH
POEMS & SONGS
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~