May 27, 2003

The Poetry of Robert Byrd

Earlier I posted a discourse on a passage of poetry chosen by that great orator, Robert C. Byrd, Senator of West Virginia.

But we shouldn't ignore the Great Senator's own contributions to the literature of this country.

I have taken the liberty of setting some of his choicer pieces as verse. It helps their impact in ways the mere prose renditions do not.

Submitted in the interests of literature, a piece from 2001 and two earlier works from 1946:

I'm going to use that word

There are white n----rs.
I've seen a lot of white n----rs
        in my time.

    I'm going to use that word.

But we all —
        we all —
    we just need to work
    to make
our country a better country,
    and I —

    I'd just as soon quit
    talking about it
        so much.


The Klan is needed
    as never before

and I am anxious to see
    its rebirth here
    in West Virginia.

It is necessary that
    the order be
immediately and

    every state
    of the Union.

Rather would I die

[I will] never submit
    to fight
        that banner
    with a Negro by my side.

Rather would I die
    a thousand times,

and see Old Glory
        the dirt

    never to rise
than to see this beloved land of ours
    become degraded
        by race

a throwback to
    the blackest
    specimen from

the wilds.

Posted by campbell at May 27, 2003 12:11 AM | TrackBack