Friday, July 24, 2009

On the Road to the Contagious Health-Care Bill

I have to agree with Fran-from-Canada's comment on the previous post: namely, that America's competitive streak prevents the U.S. from simply looking at nations who have successfully implemented health-care (and if it's not "universal," it's not health-care, as "health" refers to "whole") and imitating them, even if we acknowledge that some aspects of our situation may be different.

We mustn't overlook the cynicism of politicians and corporations either. The GOPers have made it plain that their only strategy is to stall and that the strategy is in service of the 2010 election. I think it's refreshing that they admit as much. They rank doing well in a mid-term election higher than providing reliable health-care coverage to (at least) 45 million persons who now go without it and who, if they're "lucky," get some help at an emergency-room. Meanwhile, the DEMsters will wrestle themselves into submission, easy pickings for lobbyists.

But let us turn to a physician who wrote poetry, W.C. Williams, and his "Spring and All," with its genius first line:

Spring and All

by William Carlos Williams

By the road to the contagious hospital
under the surge of the blue
mottled clouds driven from the
northeast-a cold wind. Beyond, the
waste of broad, muddy fields
brown with dried weeds, standing and fallen

patches of standing water
the scattering of tall trees

All along the road the reddish
purplish, forked, upstanding, twiggy
stuff of bushes and small trees
with dead, brown leaves under them
leafless vines-

Lifeless in appearance, sluggish
dazed spring approaches-

They enter the new world naked,
cold, uncertain of all
save that they enter. All about them
the cold, familiar wind-

Now the grass, tomorrow
the stiff curl of wildcarrot leaf
One by one objects are defined-
It quickens: clarity, outline of leaf

But now the stark dignity of
entrance-Still, the profound change
has come upon them: rooted, they
grip down and begin to awaken

Let us hope that those in charge of delivering the health-care goods will "grip down and begin to awaken."

For more information about this poem and W.C.W., please visit . . .
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