January 18, 2015

Conor Kelly


A cartoon is not funny if I say
a cartoon is not funny. You may think
what you may think, but I will print
only what I decide to print. You may
object. You may at least expect a link.
But I decide what I will not reprint.

A picture may be worth, as someone said,
a thousand words. An image may, also,
encapsulate what words may never know.
But I have no desire to join the dead.
They knew what they were doing and they bled.
I ask myself if I could ever show
such courage, such defiance. Oh hell, no.
I’d rather cut the news and die in bed.

Poets Respond
January 18, 2015

[download audio]


Conor Kelly: “One of the major international news stories of the week was the publication of the regular edition of Charlie Hebdo with a print run of over five million instead of the usual 60,000. The cover was a nuanced response to the terrifying events of the previous week. However, some news editors decided not to print this cover for a variety of reasons. This inverted Petrarchan sonnet with a Yeatsian title is my response to what I see as cowardice.” (website)

Note: This poem has been published exclusively online as part of a new project in which poets respond to current events. A poem written within the last week about an event that occurred within the last week will appear every Sunday at Rattle.com. Our only criterion for selection is the quality of the poem, not its editorial position; any opinions expressed are solely those of the poet and do not necessarily reflect those of Rattle’s editors. To read poems from past weeks, visit the Poets Respond page. Interact on our Facebook group. To have a poem considered for next week’s posting, submit it here before midnight Friday PST. 

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