Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added) is the best-kept secret
among contemporary American writers. --John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture Marly Youmans is a novelist and poet out of sync with the times
but in tune with the ages. --First Things

Monday, July 04, 2016

The Fourth of July

Mary Boxley Bullington, "Independence Day,"
Ink, acrylic, gouache, gesso on museum rag board.

If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves. 
--Abraham Lincoln

Neither James Madison...nor any of the other Framers of the Constitution,
were oblivious, careless, or otherwise unaware of the words
they chose for the document and its Bill of Rights. 
--Hon. Diane Wood

A wise and glad and free 4th of July to us all.
What happened to the signers of The Declaration of Independence?

8 comments:

  1. Indeed. Freedom is so expensive, and so many contribute too little to the endless purchase. Have a wonderful holiday.

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  2. francis scott key and his ilk, inspired as they were by the banging over fort sumter(?) couldn't in their wildest imaginings have written much that's worthwhile about the modern day america... imo, anyhow...

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    Replies
    1. I was once scolded by a guard at Fort Sumter. Or was it Fort Moultrie? Evidently I was a wee bit high-spirited. I must not like to be chided because I still remember him.

      They wouldn't be who they were if born now! The world has changed both for good and for ill.

      But I find that The Federalist Papers or Of Plymouth Plantation and many other early documents still have something to say to us. And that's rather remarkable.

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    2. they were remarkable persons. i wonder where they all went? into megacorporations, i guess...

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    3. Yes, where are our statesmen and stateswomen?

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  3. Hon. Diane Wood comments: "(Of the framers of the Constitution none was) oblivious, careless, or otherwise unaware of the words they chose for the document and its Bill of Rights."

    It's true. But this is a legal document, capable of withstanding argument in a court of law. If it were compiled today our eyes would glaze over at the dead prose of lawyer folk. Not then. Whence came the vigour and the straightforwardness? The following is merely a list and yet you feel you could trust the people who wrote it.

    No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.

    What's more it's got rhythm. Mozart could have composed appropriate recitative. A good start you'd have to say.

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    Replies
    1. Our early documents and accounts are alive with vigor and thought. Perhaps we should start requiring our public servants--many are "public servants"--to be able to write well. It would be a good sign that they can think well.

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Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.