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Friday, July 2, 2010

Common Sense

Common Sense, published in 1776, was Thomas Paine’s polemic that gave momentum to the revolution for independence from Great Britain. A radical English pamphleteer, Paine (1737-1809) was also influential in France, where a revolution would break out in 1789.


Kings and aristocrats
Britons may relish,
But to Americans
Monarchs are hellish,
Draining our competence,
Warring forever!
Let us use common sense
Now, and endeavor
Not to conciliate
(Since we’re their betters),
But to set up our state
Free of the fetters
Forged in another land.
Strike the blow, Brother!
Britain’s our Motherland?
Up the Wall, Mother!

~ Maurice Sagoff (1910-1998) American poet, from Shrink-Lit: Seventy of the world’s towering classics cut down to size

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