Sep 8, 2011

Henry Reed, "Judging Distances"




Here is Henry Reed's companion poem to "Naming of Parts," which was posted last time. Once again there are two speakers, but the changes between Speaker A and Speaker B are not as regular as they were in "Naming of Parts." And once again, the requirements for the military way of seeing--of judging distance--is necessarily different from what the recruit is used to.

"Judging Distances" by Henry Reed

Is it fair to paraphrase that in order to destroy efficiently humans and their buildings, one must measure distance differently?  





8 comments:

Hannah Stephenson said...

I haven't read that poem of his before--I loved it. Language can indeed point out to us our uncertainty in the world.

Brenda's Arizona said...

Oh wow, I love this poem! For anyone who is a lousy judge of distance, this poem gives us/them respite. It isn't in the 'distance' of the distance, but in what we see in that distance. Lovely, Banjomyn! I feel redeemed!

Pasadena Adjacent said...

I want to see it played out in a Benny Hill skit.

Birdman said...

Thanks for sharing that poem. Never seen it.

altadenahiker said...

That last line was a real kicker. That's two for two; I'll have to read more Reed.

Paula said...

I know that most of what we see is really about filling in the blanks: yes, that's a tree and yes that's two lovers, I've seen this all before, or, I've seen it and I don't ever want to see it again. So judging distance in order to set in motion an act of destruction would have to include some notion of what you might be seeing later that, in turn, could be things you may or may not have seen before...how DO you get from here to there? I guess you have to find a way to chart that.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

That Paula is one smart cookie. Said it/mean it

RuneE said...

Regarding your last question - you have to measure many things differently. Humanity not the least.

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