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10/25/2018

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This poem was close to life-changing for me when I first read it. I had just never seen the United States from that perspective before. I didn't read it, that I know of, in the 60s. I read it with one of my children when homeschooling--probably in my the late 80s. I say, probably, because it was in a HBJ textbook that I might have used in high school, but if I read it then, I don't remember.

AMDG

That's interesting. I don't know how you maintained your innocence for that long. :-) I really don't remember for sure whether I connected it with American pride or not when I read it in high school. I may have, or it may have just been the picture of doom in general. I certainly got very anti-American for a while a few years later.

I was a late bloomer.

The thing is that even though in the 70s I was unhappy with the government, I thought it was fixable. It never occurred to me that the whole thing could fall apart.

I was really surprised one day when I started thinking about how powerful England had been, and how much of that power they had lost. That may have been when I started thinking that one day we might not be a world power. I also kind of think it would be a relief.

AMDG

With WWI being in the news a lot for the past few years because of its centennial, I've been struck by how quickly England went from world-ruling empire to has-been. Really not much more than 50 years. Now that my own memory easily reaches back more years than that, it's sort of mind-boggling to me.

On the other hand the Roman Empire hung on for centuries of slow decay.

I'm sure you've heard that line that goes something like "What cannot continue will not." I don't know exactly what's going to happen with us (obviously) but that seems to be operative in some way.

There was a Simon and Garfunkel documentary in 1974, and one of them said to the other, "You know the 200th anniversary of the United States is in 2 years," and the other answered, "Do you think we'll make it?" So, I'm not making any predictions, but I know we're slip-sliding away.

AMDG

Indeed we are. It will be seen in the future as tragic self-destruction--because it doesn't have to be this way.

That's a *great* song, btw--"Slip-sliding away."

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