After the Midterms were over, the big headline was “The Democrats win control of the House! There will be a check on president Donald Trump.” In the days that followed, additional seats were won by the Democrats. Nancy Pelosi appeared to be returning as Speaker of The House of Representatives. Another huge story was “One hundred women elected to the House!” 2018 became the Second Year of the Woman. In every region of the country, in red and blue states, Democratic women campaigned for the first time and won seats from incumbent Republican men. It seemed clear that Trump’s misogyny had galvanized women in the suburbs and the cities. The first signal was the huge Women’s March on Saturday after Trump’s inauguration in January, 2017 –the largest march in United States history.
Often, in times of great import, I remember a poem that captures the essence of the moment. Poets can express the human condition better than psychologists and historians. Carl Sandburg was such a poet. He wrote from Chicago in the first half of the 20th century about the American people — who we are, our struggles and what we strive for. His epic poem, “The People Yes” captures this moment in our history. Here are excerpts to illuminate what has happened to all of us .
“The people yes”
The people will live on.
The learning and blundering people will live on.
They will be tricked and sold and again sold
And go back to the nourishing earth for rootholds,
The people so peculiar in renewal and comeback,
You can’t laugh off their capacity to take it.
The mammoth rests between his cyclonic dramas.
* * * * * * * *
The people so often sleepy, weary, enigmatic,
Is a vast huddle with many units saying:
“I earn my living.
I make enough to get by
And it takes all my time.
If I had more time
I could do more for myself
And maybe for others.
I could read and study
And talk things over
And find out about things.
It takes time.
I wish I had the time.
* * * * * * *
Man is a long time coming.
Man will yet win.
Brother may yet line up with brother:
This old anvil laughs at many broken hammers.
There are men who can’t be bought.
The fireborn are at home in fire.
The stars make no noise.
You can’t hinder the wind from blowing.
Time is a great teacher.
Who can live without hope?
In this darkness with a great bundle of grief
The people march.
In the night, and overhead a shovel of stars for keeps, the
“Where to? What next?”
…………………………………………………………………………..Joyce S. Anderson