Villanelle on historical relativism

Senior Coast Beach View Bench Sea Couple People

It’s not hard to pull down a statue, happens every day.
Granite, bronze or concrete — it makes no difference my dear,
they come down quite easily, if there’s a will there’s a way.

Bye bye ideologue, general, an explorer or two,
history’s villains are falling and the people all cheer.
It’s not hard to topple a statue: happens every day.

They’re not gods only men, unsteadily astride the New
World in tin hats, sizing up the unruly frontier.
They come down quite easily, if there’s a will there’s a way.

Haul hard on a rope with angry hands and if that won’t do
back a tractor with a tow-bar, go slowly in low gear.
It’s not hard to pull down a statue, happens every day.

Easily done for sure but here’s the hard question for you:
what’s going to replace this guy with his gaze so severe?
They come down so easily, if there’s a will there’s a way.

Perhaps place a plaque for tourists and a stair to the view.
Go on, be monumental: see what’s to see (for free) from here.
It’s not hard to pull down a statue, happens every day.
They fall so easily, if there’s a will there’s a way.


Inspired by a piece in the New York Times Magazine by Malia Wollan, 15 September 2017, How to Pull Down a Statue. Image: maxpixel.freegreatpicture.com

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