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    thin line

-- Stan Iverson Anarchist Archives: Death of Emma Goldman, by Karl Shapiro, poet & anarchist

Emma Goldman, anarchist feminist


                    Triumphant at the final breath,
                      Their senile God, their cops,
               All the authorities and friends pro tem
               Passing her pillow, keeping her concerned.
               But the cowardly obit was already written;
               Morning would know she was a common slut.

                    Russians who stood for tragedy
                      Were sisters all around;
               Dark conscience of the family, down she lay
               To end the career of passion, brain a bruise;
               And mother-wonder filled her like a tide,
               Rabid and raging discipline to bear.

                    In came the monarchist, a nurse,
                      And covered up her eyes;
               Volkstaat of hate took over; suddenly
               The Ego gagged, the Conscious overpowered,
               The Memory beaten to a pulp, she fell.
               It remained to hide the body, or make it laugh.

                    Yet not to sink her name in coin
                      Like Caesar was her wish,
               To come alive like Frick, conjecture maps,
               Or speak with kings of low mentality,
               But to be left alone, a law to scorn
               Of all, and none more honored than the least.

                    This way she died, though premature
                      Her clarity for others;
               For it was taught that, listening, the soul
               Lost track and merged with trespasses and spies
               Whose black renown shook money like a rat
               And showed up grass a mortmain property.


Emma Goldman, anarchist feminist
KARL JAY SHAPIRO,Person Place and Thing (1940)

  "Death of Emma Goldman," by Karl Shapiro.  Reprinted from Poems
, by Karl Shapiro, in Richard Drinnon's Rebel in Paradise

For biographical information about Emma Goldman, see her page at the Anarchist Encyclopedia.

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