Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Brigitte Poirson writes


They call us anonymous,
As if we had no names.
They brand us anonymous,
A bulk of the unknown,
And dub us nameless
So they can sound illustrious.
They tag us as infamous
To secure their comfort and make us dubious.
They point at all of us,
The toiling masses,
To set us apart from the luckiest.
They call us liabilities
Just to push their assets,
And capitalize on a few names
To better label us anonymous.
They knead us into one formless mass,
So they can shape us to their image
And configure us to conform
To their nameless norm.
They decree what suits their interests
In our nameless names,
And call it our will.
Their pens pen us in silence
To make room for their fame.
They coin rules
To destroy the Law.
They defile our names as anonymous
To make their nameless lies more spacious,
And defame our anonymity
Better to deprive us of our identity.
They call us anonymous,
As if we had no names.
But we, anonymous,
Bear a name:
And we shall voice our name:

1 comment:

  1. In Europe of the Middle Ages works of art such as the cathedrals and much poetry were anonymously created in the glory of God not man, but personal identity began to assert itself in the humanism of the Renaissance. However, the decline of church power was also compensated for by the rise of the authority of society and government. Statism continues to be inimical to individualism, and many writers struggle with this duality. Shortly after his move from the UK to the US in 1939, W. H. Auden wrestled with the same theme as Brigitte:


    (To JS/07 M 378
    This Marble Monument
    Is Erected by the State)
    He was found by the Bureau of Statistics to be
    One against whom there was no official complaint,
    And all the reports on his conduct agree
    That, in the modern sense of an old-fashioned word, he was a saint,
    For in everything he did he served the Greater Community.
    Except for the War till the day he retired
    He worked in a factory and never got fired,
    But satisfied his employers, Fudge Motors Inc.
    Yet he wasn’t a scab or odd in his views,
    For his Union reports that he paid his dues,
    (Our report on his Union shows it was sound)
    And our Social Psychology workers found
    That he was popular with his mates and liked a drink.
    The Press are convinced that he bought a paper every day
    And that his reactions to advertisements were normal in every way.
    Policies taken out in his name prove that he was fully insured,
    And his Health-card shows he was once in hospital but left it cured.
    Both Producers Research and High-Grade Living declare
    He was fully sensible to the advantages of the Instalment Plan
    And had everything necessary to the Modern Man,
    A phonograph, a radio, a car and a frigidaire.
    Our researchers into Public Opinion are content
    That he held the proper opinions for the time of year;
    When there was peace, he was for peace: when there was war, he went.
    He was married and added five children to the population,
    Which our Eugenist says was the right number for a parent of his generation.
    And our teachers report that he never interfered with their education.
    Was he free? Was he happy? The question is absurd:
    Had anything been wrong, we should certainly have heard.


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