A blog devoted mainly to haiku and senryu and to thoughts about, and inspired by, haiku and senryu.

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Location: New York, New York

Haiku is to poetry as espresso is to coffee.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


shooting rampage
man on the bus says
guns don't kill people


Blogger gautami tripathy said...

It is people who kill people. Guns do not.

10:21 AM  
Blogger polona said...

i agree with gautami.
and yet... if guns were not so easily accessible...

11:52 AM  
Anonymous aurora said...

Don't you wonder what would make someone want to do that, guns or no guns?

3:22 PM  
Blogger Bill said...

And often it's people with guns.

But I don't intend this as a polemic on gun control. It's rather about the way we confront the unthinkable with comforting stereotypes and cliches, especially those that reaffirm a worldview that has been threatened. A different person might have muttered a prayer or a curse. My first words were "Jesus Christ!" Prayer or curse?

The answer to your question, aurora (if there is one) lies in the murky depths of human psychology. But a part of it is a lack of sympathetic imagination, the faculty that enables us to recognize the full humanity of people other than ourselves. That lack is a common theme in episodes of this kind.

Thanks for your comments, gautami, polona, and aurora.

6:21 PM  
Blogger bigshoulders said...

nice and succinct, regardless of one's stance on the issue.

thanks, bill.

6:51 PM  
Blogger Bill said...

Thanks, Kevin. Good to hear from you.

7:24 PM  
Blogger floots said...

i agree with you bill
i think that we feel a need to say something when faced with such atrocities
such a cliche is not so much an attempt to be "deep" or controversial - just an attempt to find comfort and/or show concern

thank you

11:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

red petals everywhere -
lecture about death
at Virginia Tech

any comment is useless...

2:17 AM  
Blogger Pat Paulk said...

From the jawbone of an ass to 9mm's and .22 calibers, the world doesn't seem to change much. Good one Bill!!

5:10 AM  
Blogger Bill said...

Of course, Pat, even if you're a Samson, killing 33 people with the jawbone of an ass is much harder than killing them with a gun. I guess that's progress???

Right, floots. Our comments at such a moment are often a form of psychic self-defense.

You're right, Dana-Maria. As Auden says, "poetry makes nothing happen."

But he also said it's a voice. Sometimes we are compelled to speak. Thank you for speaking.

5:23 AM  
Blogger Pat Paulk said...

Some progress. Good point!

4:54 AM  
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6:53 AM  

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