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Thursday, November 10, 2011

The World State

(“I love mankind — it’s people I can’t
stand.” ~ Linus in Peanuts, by Charles
M. Schulz, 1922-2000)


Oh, how I love Humanity,
With love so pure and pringlish,
And how I hate the horrid French,
Who never will be English!

The International Idea,
The largest and the clearest,
Is welding all the nations now,
Except the one that’s nearest.

This compromise has long been known,
This scheme of partial pardons,
In ethical societies
And small suburban gardens —

The villas and the chapels where
I learned with little labor
The way to love my fellow-man
And hate my next-door neighbor.

~ G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936), prolific English author who wrote poetry, novels, essays, and the Father Brown detective series


GretchenJoanna said...

Just last night I was reading a passage in a novel that illustrated this poem's message, and was planning to find it today and refresh my memory. It's short enough that I should just memorize it -- it so well illustrates this tendency in us humans!

Mary Lee said...

I liked your Poetry Friday poem well enough, but I always scroll down and glance at the week in poetry...this one almost made me snort a mouthful of tea! I immediately sent it to a couple of people who have a hard time loving their neighbors (unraked leaves, messy and loud dogs...the usual) Thanks!!