Social Justice Warrior (SJW) cartoon by Ben Garrison‘The Woke Person’s Burden’ and Other Poetry by Ron L. Hodges The Society July 25, 2019 Culture, Deconstructing Communism, Humor, Poetry 5 Comments The Woke Man’s Person’s Burden “Virtually no idea is too ridiculous to be accepted, even by very intelligent and highly educated people, if it provides a way for them to feel special and important. Some confuse that feeling with idealism.” —Thomas Sowell Take up the Woke Man’s Person’s burden— __Be one of the elite— Go fight for Social Justice, __On keyboards, in the street. To serve the disadvantaged, __Is such a noble choice— Alone they have no power, __But you can give them voice! Take up the Woke Man’s Person’s burden— __A vow of poverty, As jobs are hard to come by __With some odd niche degree. Yet with a cause so righteous— __So many lives to save— It’s worth it, though the debt __May follow to the grave. Take up the Woke Man’s Person’s burden— __Prepare a careful mind— The scourge of racist systems __Is often hard to find; Yet grounded in good theory __Offenses will appear, Till slights the commoners can’t see __To you will show quite clear. Take up the Woke Man’s Person’s burden— __Step with an urgent stride— For subtle hateful language __Can’t be allowed to slide; There’s violence in a pronoun, __The use of a dead name, So, banning toxic diction __Must surely be your aim. Take up the Woke Man’s Person’s burden— __The tolerance crusade jihad— Though your aim be raise the Peace, __You must not spare the rod; For foes will strive against you, __The Fascists and Alt-Right, As well as Christian bigots, __Against whom you must fight! Take up the Woke Man’s Person’s burden— __A battle for the strong: The enemy’s well-funded, __A capitalist throng. So, you’ll be blamed for violence __All done in self-defense— Their presence is incitement, __Deserving consequence. Take up the Woke Man’s Person’s burden— __In service to our God State— Lest rebel cooks and florists __Suffuse our world with hate. Engineer an ideal world __Where all love is esteemed, Except Christian tradition, __Which ne’er can be redeemed. Take up the Woke Man’s Person’s burden— __Bring darkness to the light! For unless you blaze their trail, __The plebs won’t know what’s right. As Equity’s apostle, __You’ll also merit praise— The cause of Social Justice __In many respects, pays. Personhood —noun 1. “the state or fact of being a person.” “Person,” it seems, is an elusive word, Though I am rather puzzled as to why. Isn’t membership in the human herd Sufficient cause to make that term apply? Apparently not. Many will dispute, Saying a “person” must do that or this, Look a certain way; life alone is moot If any standard markers are amiss. But since these self-styled experts don’t agree On what constitute those minimum traits, Should we define with ambiguity? I fear we’re playing gods with people’s fates— Personhood can’t be some subjective prize, Earned through the fickle measures men devise. Ron L. Hodges is an English teacher and poet who lives in Orange County, California. His works have appeared in The Road Not Taken, Ancient Paths, Calvary Cross, and The Society of Classical Poets Journal 2015 and 2016. He won the Society’s prestigious Annual Poetry Competition in 2016. Views expressed by individual poets and writers on this website and by commenters do not represent the views of the entire Society. The comments section on regular posts is meant to be a place for civil and fruitful discussion. Pseudonyms are discouraged. The individual poet or writer featured in a post has the ability to remove any or all comments by emailing submissions@ classicalpoets.org with the details and under the subject title “Remove Comment.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 5 Responses Steve Shaffer July 25, 2019 The Woke Person’s Burden — perfect! Flows well, great point, and and LOVE the use of the strike-outs. Thanks for writing it. Reply Stephen Hagerman July 25, 2019 Mr. Hodges, an interesting sonnet in loose iambic tetrameter. Personally I think that “personhood” is an innocuous term and does me no harm, but it is pointless to distinguish it from humankind. Whether we speak of apples, or oranges, we speak of fruit. And opinion seems to be at the fruit of this poem. There are a couple of issues you might want to consider here, that I feel I should point out. Using “human herd” to mean “humankind” in L3 is not a realistic term. Humans are not antelope grassing on the plains of the Serengeti . the correct term, of course, is human beings. To offer this awkward term in order to make a rhyme forces the line. In L9 the use of “constitute” in Grammarly incorrect. A singular subject requires a singular verb. I believe you mean “constitutes” Other than that this was an enjoyable take on whether or not we are deemed human. Often I am given pause to ponder that question myself. Reply Ron July 25, 2019 Stephen, thanks for the comment. The idea of personhood is not innocuous since the differentiation between mere biological humans and “persons” is used by pro-choice bioethicists to justify abortion. I recommend Nancy Pearcey on this argument. As for”herd,” with respect, you may be reading too literally. Poets use the connotation of words for a purpose, as I do here. Take care! Reply C.B. Anderson July 25, 2019 Ron L., I’m surprised that you still have license to teach in the State of California, since you dare speak the truth. Oddly, my mind tends to metathesize the first two syllables of your name when I read it, rendering it “Elron,” who was the leader of the Rivendell Elves in THE LORD OF THE RINGS. This shouldn’t bother you, since I find your observations Gandalfian in the broader scheme of things. Irony is the iron of sarcasm. You have faced the enemy and stood them on their heels, soundly routed in full retreat. Reply Dave Whippman July 27, 2019 “The Woke Person’s Burden” is a cleverly written and bitingly realistic piece. Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.