Pilgrimpace's Blog

hope and history
June 19, 2012, 7:19 pm
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I’m indebted to Andrew Teal for posting this today.  I have never been convinced by Seamus Heaney before, but this combination of him with Sophocles is incredible.  I will look again.

Human beings suffer.
They torture one another.
They get hurt and get hard.
No poem or play or song
Can fully right a wrong
Inflicted and endured.

History says, Don’t hope
On this side of the grave,
But then, once in a lifetime
The longed-for tidal wave
Of justice can rise up
And hope and history rhyme.

(Seamus Heaney, from ‘The Cure at Troy’ (1990), Voices from Lemnos, IV (Chorus). In Opened Ground. Poems 1966-1996 (London: 1998, Faber & Faber, 330-331).