Writer’s Quote: The Nail

Writer’s Quote: The Nail

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The poem below is one I feel strongly about. The reason I am sharing this poem is because I believe it is a poem everyone should read at least once, especially with the state the world is in.

This poem holds a message we all should hear and absorb. We can turn off the news, ignore the papers, block out the internet, but it doesn’t change reality.

Although, I am one of those who like to pretend everything is all peaches and rainbows, but as a human being, it is my duty to remember and acknowledge- there are bad things happening in this world, even though it may seem like a myth. It is not, this is happening in reality. Only by recognising, Yes, there is a problem can we come together and find a solution for it.

The Nail by C.K Williams

Some dictator or other had gone into exile, and now reports were coming about his regime,
the usual crimes, torture, false imprisonment, cruelty and corruption, but then a detail:
that the way his henchmen had disposed of enemies was by hammering nails into their skulls.
Horror, then, what mind does after horror, after that first feeling that you’ll never catch your breath,
mind imagines—how not be annihilated by it?—the preliminary tap, feels it in the tendons of the hand,
feels the way you do with your nail when you’re fixing something, making something, shelves, a bed;
the first light tap to set the slant, and then the slightly harder tap, to em-bed the tip a little more …

No, no more: this should be happening in myth, in stone, or paint, not in reality, not here;
it should be an emblem of itself, not itself, something that would mean, not really have to happen,
something to go out, expand in implication from that unmoved mass of matter in the breast;
as in the image of an anguished face, in grief for us, not us as us, us as in a myth, a moral tale,
a way to tell the truth that grief is limitless, a way to tell us we must always understand
it’s we who do such things, we who set the slant, embed the tip, lift the sledge and drive the nail,
drive the nail which is the axis upon which turns the brutal human world upon the world.