The Free World

We present this work in honor of the poet’s 100th birthday.

07-05 Valaoritis
Nanos Valaoritis
Greek
1921 – 2019

 

The situation in Vietnam
is worse than the situation in Indonesia
which is worse than the situation in Guatemala
which is worse than the situation in Haiti
which is worse than the situation in South Africa
which is worse than the situation in Portugal
which is worse than the situation in Spain
which is worse than the situation in the Argentine
which is worse than the situation in Pakistan
which is worse than the situation in Persia
(which is not good in any case)
and which is worse than the situation in Bolivia
which is worse than the situation in Brazil
which is worse than the situation in Rhodesia
(which is not jolly either)
and which is worse than the situation in Costa Rica
which is worse than the situation in Honduras
which is worse than the situation in Santo Domingo
which is worse than the situation in Korea
which is worse than the situation in Ecuador
which is worse than the situation in Uruguay
which is worse than the situation in Peru
which is worse than the situation in the Congo
which is worse than the situation in Panama
which is worse than the situation in Angola
which is worse than the situation in Greece
which is worse than all these other situations
because it happens
to me.

One thought on “The Free World

  1. “Let us suppose that the great empire of China, with all its myriad of inhabitants, was suddenly swallowed up by an earthquake, and let us consider how a man of humanity in Europe, who had no sort of connection with that part of the world, would react upon receiving intelligence of this dreadful calamity. He would, I imagine, first of all express very strongly his sorrow for the misfortune of that unhappy people, he would make many melancholy reflections upon the precariousness of human life, and the vanity of all the labours of man, which could thus be annihilated in a moment. He would, too, perhaps, if he was a man of speculation, enter into many reasonings concerning the effects which this disaster might produce upon the commerce of Europe, and the trade and business of the world in general. And when all this fine philosophy was over, when all these humane sentiments had been once fairly expressed, he would pursue his business or his pleasure, take his repose or his diversion, with the same ease and tranquility as if no such accident had happened. The most frivolous disaster which could befall himself would occasion a more real disturbance. If he were to lose his little finger tomorrow, he would not sleep tonight; but, provided he never saw them, he would snore with the most profound security over the ruin of a hundred million of his brethren.” Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments.

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