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The Magpie Sings the Great Depression:
Selections from DeWitt Clinton High School's Literary Magazine, 1929-1942

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By Joseph Kesselman

The Magpie, Spring 1940, v. 24, n. 2, p. 68.

My spirit lingers still in bloody Spain,
      And there my blood congeals on fertile soil
Where nodded sun-lit sheaves of golden grain,
      Where man and beast bent low in common toil.

Betrayed, my body lies despoiled beneath
      Nail shod boots that pock-mark yielding flesh.
New sadists sacrificial knives unsheathe;
      O'er mankind settles a black and dirgeful pall.

Yet brute force but begets brute force,
      And strangled truth is truer still in death,
For reborn in the womb of time, its source,
      It shouts again with lusty infant breath.

—And though my blood flows freer than before,
      I slowly rise to gain again my feet.
And drown oppressor in his own drawn gore,
      And send reaction into forced retreat.

Rebuild what was best is now my task.
      Unto heaven rear I freedom's steeple.
Who am I? What is my name? I hear you ask.
      Some say democracy; some,—the people.

The Magpie Sings the Great Depression

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