Verse by Caleb Mannan

If you like Robert Service, Longfellow, Tolkien, Milton, Robinson Jeffers, Whitman, Poe, The Bible, Tennyson, Ray Bradbury, life, death, Untermeyer, Pound, Donne, joy, sorrow, Siegfried Sassoon, Wilfred Owen, Robert Graves, children, beauty, Dante, Tom Waits, then set yourself down beside this fire.

Monday, December 6, 2010

XLVI. They Pass Not Words to Their Children

They pass not words to their children,
Neither wisdom nor knowledge do they impart.
They create stunted sons and withered daughters,
Children with no lineage, a tree without its roots.
They do it not in anger, nor do they do it with purport,
But do it for lack of understanding, they fatherless as well.

My Fathers!
Why hast thou forsaken me to silence?
Why hast thou built towers with your own hands,
Yet showed me not to hew a single stone?
Why hast thou seen wars and foreign civilizations,
Yet of these things I know not?
My Fathers, my Fathers, why hast thou forsaken me?
Forsaken me and my brothers to chained tongues
And palsied guns and empirical rage of our own understanding.

They that pass not words to their children are fathers
To sons of none and daughters of the dead,
They themselves the sons of none propagating
The ignorance of their silent fathers by their own silence.


  1. I guess that's true. I suppose I ought to less my kids watch less TV.

  2. Haha! Totally!
    I always find it interesting that there are things in my family, my history I have no idea about, important matters even. Where I came from, my family history. I have a 'personal mythology' if you will, that in the time of the Tower of Babel, some that were scattered fled and never passed the story onto their children:
    "Why hast thou built towers with your own hands,
    Yet showed me not to hew a single stone?"
    Even more so, they did not pass the skills or advancements onto their children they once had as a culture, a civilization, actually hampering their children's growth. Is it ignorance? Passivity? A lack of caring? A lack of understanding? Or merely the act of protecting oneself at the expense (unknown as it may be) of others?
    We may never know...