Are you for or against?
Either way, answer with a yes or a no.
You’ve thought the problem over,
I’m sure it’s given you trouble,
most things in life are troublesome:
children, women, insects,
noxious plants, wasted hours,
difficult passions, rotten teeth,
mediocre movies. And this will have troubled you for sure.
Speak responsibly then. Even if just a yes or no.
The decision is yours.
Of course we don’t ask that you stop
your activities, interrupt your life,
your favorite newspapers, discussions
at the barber shop, your Sundays at the stadium.
One word only. Go ahead then:
are you for or against?
Think it over carefully. I’ll be waiting.

This poem was part of “Eighteen Texts” published in Athens in 1970 by a group of Greek writers as a gesture against censorship currently in force under the military regime in Greece. The English edition of this volume will be published by the Harvard University Press in the fall

Copyright © 1971 by Edmund and Mary Keeley

This Issue

August 12, 1971