Look Up, Hannah

By Joshua Philipp

We laid in mud at sorrow’s end,
in a land of woeful souls.
It’s a place where dreams of hollowed men
are flown as flags on poles.

And weary riders seeking doom
ride blindly over cliffs.
Machines of burden click and boom
and send the bodies stiff.

Oh, soldiers following the tune
so blindly they do die.
For men whose hearts are black and ruined,
dictators telling lies.

Yet Hannah, don’t give up your hope
look now into the skies.
When angels lower heaven’s ropes,
give souls the wings to fly.

Ruins of castles crawl with vines and trees where stones were set,
For so long as men grow old and die, we’ll all have freedom yet.


Notes: Based on Charlie Chaplin’s “look up, Hannah” speech.

Joshua Philipp is a newspaper editor, writer, and poet living in Astoria, New York City. He is vice president of the Society of Classical Poets.

Click here for other poems by Joshua Philipp.


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2 Responses

  1. Jean-Marie Le Pavot

    Dear Joshua,
    Your lovely poem, Look Up, Hannah, would become more fully equal to itself if you would just shift a letter or two in its opening verse to make it read more suitably: We lay in mud at sorrow’s end. To say that one has laid in mud can only mean that one has taken mud and put it into something. To say that one has lain in mud or, as here, that one lay in mud, is to say that one has been in a prostrate or recumbent position in the mud–which is surely what we were doing at sorrow’s end, in a land of woeful souls, not stuffing sorrow’s end or that land of woeful souls with mud, for it was already there in sorrowful, indeed, in woeful abundance.
    With friendly greetings and kind regards,
    Jean-Marie Le Pavot


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