Identity Requires Memory

Music: Peace Within.
By Peter Rudenko. Performed by Peter Rudenko at the Free Music Archive
under a Creative Commons Attribution license.

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Copyright by
Nicholas Gordon

Identity requires memory.
No less than people, nations must recall
Days past, lest they wander witlessly,
Erased each moment, guided by the wind,
Pushed by lusts no wisdom can forestall.
Events are facts that one cannot rescind,
Nor can forgetting consequence forego.
Despite one's wish, the past is not behind:
Even now, it works its wayward will,
Nor can we understand what we don't know.
Contain your cavils, then, and snide thoughts still,
Even as we celebrate our story,
Described with all the clarity and skill
A scholar can sustain in heart and mind,
Yielding what for now is history.

Copyright by Nicholas Gordon

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