Danny Draper

(14 July 1963 / Kiama, New South Wales, Australia)

To Individuals


See them all
Hear the call
And one by one
Into line they fall.

Never question
Never doubt
Same old practice
O'er and o'er.

Then one questions
Then one doubts
Death to cynics
Drown him out.

Ask and question
Contest decision
Yours is evolution
From dissention.

Not an easy path
Not one for the easily led
Wisdom and isolation are friends
And individuals are rarely bred.

Submitted: Friday, February 17, 2012
Edited: Friday, February 17, 2012

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  • Bri Edwards (4/23/2014 4:13:00 PM)

    danny, there are a couple of words you use which i had to look up to be sure i knew what i was reading [or try to know].

    one is CYNIC. the other is DISSENTION:

    cyn·ic
    'sinik/
    noun
    noun: cynic; plural noun: cynics; noun: Cynic; plural noun: Cynics

    1.
    a person who believes that people are motivated purely by self-interest rather than acting for honorable or unselfish reasons.
    some cynics thought that the controversy was all a publicity stunt
    a person who questions whether something will happen or whether it is worthwhile.
    the cynics were silenced when the factory opened
    synonyms: skeptic, doubter, doubting Thomas; More
    pessimist, prophet of doom, doomsayer, Cassandra, Chicken Little
    he was a cynic who deflated all the hopeful aspirations of his children
    antonyms: idealist, Pollyanna
    2.
    a member of a school of ancient Greek philosophers founded by Antisthenes, marked by an ostentatious contempt for ease and pleasure. The movement flourished in the 3rd century BC and revived in the 1st century AD.

    Origin
    mid 16th century (sense 2) : from Latin cynicus, from Greek kunikos; probably originally from Kunosarges, the name of a gymnasium where Antisthenes taught, but popularly taken to mean ‘doglike, churlish, ’ kuon, kun- ‘dog’ becoming a nickname for a Cynic.


    *************OK, HERE IS WHAT I THINK CYNIC must mean in the poem: a person who questions whether something will happen or whether it is worthwhile.
    =======================================
    dis·sen·sion
    noun \di-'sen(t) -sh?n
    : disagreement that causes the people in a group to argue about something that is important to them

    ********YOU USED dissention here:

    Ask and question
    Contest decision
    Yours is evolution
    From dissention. ..................************** THE WAY I READ IT, it seems as though to or toward dissention would fit better than From dissention. am i wrong? if so, i am not understanding the stanza.

    ===================

    i think one person can be an individual on some matters and a follower in others. and i think this poem is trying to simplify (too much) complex relationships between people and their environments (including other people in ones environment) .

    if a lot of individuals feel the same way about something and have a leader to lead them, does that make them NO LONGER individuals? ? ? ? ? i don't think so.

    one reader, karen deeks, mentioned in her comment conscientious objector. i don't know exactly what she had in mind, but i WAS officially a conscientious objector to 'all wars' when i was quitting college and facing the prospect of being drafted by my selective service draft board (in 1970) , with the possibility i would be expected to tow the line in a military force during the u.s. involvement in vietnam. i did not wish to have my individuality subjected to the rules of the military, especially to support a war i did not fully (if at all) support! i was granted the CO classification and ended up working two years in a civilian hospital to please my draft board.
    NOW, if all (or most) able-bodied young men had been an individual as i was [I MEAN IF ALL HAD SAID I DON'T BELIEVE IN THIS WAR AND I WILL NOT SERVE IN THE MILITARY. I WILL GO TO CANADA OR TO JAIL IF NECESSARY TO FULFILL MY INDIVIDUALITY], the u.s. military effort would have failed to get enough men/women to ship to vietnam or support the effort from outside vietnam. wouldn't that have been interesting! ?

    i could believe that the u.s. would not have suffered if that had happened. at least we would not have suffered in vietnam.

    but i strongly believe that by the time the u.s. entered forcefully into WORLD WAR 2, we WOULD have suffered greatly, one way or the other, if millions of americans had not cooperated with the military goals. i'm sure many individuals went to war, whether they really wanted to or not.

    am i getting long-winded? ? ? ANYWAY, I THOUGHT THE POEM WAS WORTHY OF OUR THOUGHTS AND COMMENTS. IT IS CERTAINLY AN ENGAGING SUBJECT. I DON'T THINK THE WORLD'S SOCIETIES WOULD RUN AS WELL AS THEY DO IF ALL PEOPLE WERE INDIVIDUALS IN THE SENSE I BELIEVE THIS POEM MEANS. BUT, MAYBE THE POEM WAS NOT MEANING TO PRAISE INDIVIDUALS. i kind of thought it was a bit.

    Wisdom and isolation are friends...........well, they could be, but not always, in my opinion. bad breath and isolation, maybe.

    thanks for sharing. bri :)
    ============================= (Report) Reply

  • Karen Deeks (3/14/2012 10:15:00 AM)

    Bravo! ! Whoop woo... You nailed it with this one, the subtle segregation of the consciencous objector, maybe a lonely path sometimes but when one meets a fellow observer who has similar ideals (what fevered chats they have!) I truly feel like I've joined a club with this piece.., Thanks for this great share.., Karen (Report) Reply

  • Dave Walker (2/29/2012 3:56:00 AM)

    A great poem. Some people like to go their
    own way, some people like to follow.
    Really like this. (Report) Reply

Read all 6 comments »

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