"Dante and Vergil in Hell" by Eugene Delacroix‘Advice from Dante’ on Mask Wearing and Other Poetry by Cynthia Erlandson The Society March 11, 2021 Coronavirus, Culture, Deconstructing Communism, Humor, Poetry 20 Comments . Advice from Dante “If you hear nostrums* in the market cried, Behave like men, and not like witless sheep.” —Dante, Paradiso, Canto V Behave like men, and not like witless sheep. The CDC has shown no evidence That covering one’s face with cloth will keep The people near us “safe”—that it prevents A virus from fulfilling its intent. Until this year, it’s always been apparent That if in fact I am asymptomatic, You need not fear me. It’s undemocratic To force a farce-mask mandate. It’s naïve For any thinking grownup to believe That hiding two-thirds of our countenance Will send a virus packing. Common sense Tells us this is false—a nonsense nostrum— Just as absurd as Whitmer, Wolf, or Newsom Pretending to be kind and sympathetic. If you think that this talisman is magic, Recall: we’ve always known that it is burglars And kidnappers who hide their faces. Logic And law both warn that when we are in public, Our faces should be seen. ___________________We won’t do favors To anyone by trusting as our saviors Such bureaucrats as vacillating Fauci And WHO—as if they care about our health More than their drive for power. (They get grouchy, In fact, when we find out about their stealth And catch them breaking their own useless rules!) How blind do sheepish people have to be To trust the facial-diaper “remedy”? They’re laughing at us, thinking we are fools Who don’t know how to reason critically. (And, don’t think this is only temporary; Clearly that was never what they meant— Counting sheep, by masks, was the intent.) Until a year ago, it was just common Sense that if I’m well, I can’t make someone Else sick. The study shows we aren’t contagious;** Abusing the word “science” is outrageous. How have we let them take so much control That we can’t even see each other smile? How have men become so gullible As to believe the tyrants’ baseless guile, And sacrifice their right to oxygen? Don’t act like witless sheep. Behave like men And women. Don’t give tyrants the control Over your face, because their final goal Is to possess your body and your soul. . *nostrum: a questionable medicine or remedy (I had to look it up.) **A study completed in December 2020, of nearly ten million people in Wuhan, concluded that asymptomatic transmission of COVID-19 didn’t occur at all. : (www.lifesitenews.com/news/asymptomatic-transmission-of-covid-19-didn’t-occur-at-all-study-of-10-million-finds) . . Do What? “Treat your mask like underwear.” (seen on an actual bulletin board at an actual senior center) Treat your mask like underwear— Don’t ever let it near your face! Such things are private, so take care To save yourself from this disgrace. . . Cynthia Erlandson is a poet and fitness professional living in Royal Oak, Michigan. She has had poems published in First Things, Modern Age, Measure Journal, Anglican Theological Review, The North American Anglican, Forward in Christ, and the Anthologies The Slumbering Host (ed. Clinton Collister), and A Widening Light, (ed. Luci Shaw) NOTE: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who disrespects you. Simply send an email to email@example.com. Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society. Please see our Comments Policy here. 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) 20 Responses Joe Tessitore March 11, 2021 Bravo, Cynthia, twice!!! And a third time for your brilliant closing couplet of “Advice from Dante”. Reply Cynthia Erlandson March 11, 2021 Thank you so much, Joe! Your comments mean a great deal to me! Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant March 11, 2021 Cynthia, thank you for speaking out with poetic eloquence and panache on a subject that few are brave enough to mention. “Advice from Dante” brings up the views of independent scientists shut down because their finds don’t align with government-employed “experts”… if that doesn’t alarm people in this increasingly evil era of cancel culture… it should. Whatever one’s opinion on the subject, we should at least take into account the alternative studies on the efficacy of the mask. I love “Do What?” What a strange way to sell health and safety. I think it could be the next SCP challenge. I simply couldn’t resist: “Treat your mask like underwear” Rip that muzzle from your head. It’s destined for a derrière, So stick it on your ass instead. Then tell the gasping, grouchy fools, Wheezing in their Wuhan woe, The Pox Fox has announced new rules To stuff their mufflers down below… Crush the curve! Jump the bump! Bare your face and gag your rump! Tomorrow, I’m doing my monthly shop with my knickers on my head! I bet it won’t raise an eyebrow in Walmart. lol Reply Cynthia Erlandson March 11, 2021 Susan, you continually amaze me with not only how well, but how FAST you write! When I read your repartee to “Do What?”, I really did laugh out loud — and then read it to my husband, Paul, and we both laughed out loud! Yours is hands down funnier than mine. (In fact, I can only take credit for the third and fourth lines; Line one was on the bulletin board, and as soon as I told Paul about it, he blurted out the second line!) It’s really fun that we both have husbands who write. 🙂 Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant March 11, 2021 Cynthia, I’m thrilled you and Paul had a good laugh… that was my intention. And thank you very much for the inspiration! It is indeed fun to have husbands who share in our passion for poetry. Mike and I love poetry so much, we’ve started to communicate in rhyming couplets. LOL Keep writing, smiling and publishing your poems – Mike and I thoroughly enjoy them. Cynthia Erlandson March 11, 2021 And please do give us all a report on your knicker-headed trip to Walmart! Mike Bryant March 11, 2021 Here is a demo for anyone wishing to shop Susan-style: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=G8xj3BxPJrA Cynthia Erlandson March 11, 2021 That is absolutely fantastic! I think I’ll try that! Thank you, Mike! Norma Pain March 14, 2021 Knickers on my head…. I love it. I am doing a visual of everyone with their knickers on their heads. Oh, if only everyone would comply to that request, what a laugh we would all enjoy. Thank you for this wonderful humor. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant March 16, 2021 Norma, my husband and I are setting a new Knickered-Noggin trend here on the coastal plains of Texas… and I think it’s catching on. 😉 Sally Cook March 11, 2021 Dear Cynthia – Yours is an excellent approach to all the “masking”. Thanks very much ! Reply Cynthia Erlandson March 11, 2021 Thank you, Sally! I’m glad you enjoyed it. Reply Paul Freeman March 12, 2021 Requiem for a Non-Face Coverer An astronaut went into space and said, “I shan’t obstruct my face. These visors are for witless sheep, Mandated by some NASA creep. Trump University has said A helmet just constricts your head.” So on a mission EVA He took his helmet off, and hey, What happened next, I’m sure you’ve guessed, Explosively he decompressed. Reply Paul Freeman March 12, 2021 On the knicker-headed trip to Walmart theme, there was a picture of a lady, Australian, I believe, who took off her thong and placed it over her head so she would be allowed in a supermarket. Here it is: https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/14170947/shopper-thong-wears-as-covid-facemask-supermarket/ Reply Mike Bryant March 12, 2021 Every study proves that the symptom-free do not spread the wuhan flu. Every study proves that masks do not stop viruses. Please don’t be anti-science. My body, my choice. Why are healthy people in quarantine? It ain’t science, it’s compliance. Shut up and do what I say? Not in Texas, son, and not today. https://swprs.org/face-masks-evidence/ Make sure you watch the short video… “Walk toward the fire. Don’t worry about what they call you. All those things are said against you because they want to stop you in your tracks. But if you keep going, you’re sending a message to people who are rooting for you, who are agreeing with you. The message is that they can do it, too.” ― Andrew Breitbart Reply BDW March 12, 2021 Ms. Erlandson’s “Do What?” is a head turner indeed. To take a pamphlet slogan’s trochaic tetrameter and run it through a succinct, ironic, iambic-tetrameter quatrain was a neat trick. Reply Cynthia Erlandson March 12, 2021 Thank you! Reply BDW March 13, 2021 Just a literary note, in reference to Ms. Erlandson’s quatrain: my own docupoetry has been influenced by poets in the realm of what Mao Dun (1896-1981) has called the “hypertrophy of slogans”, in reference to the poetry of Jiang Guanei from Anhui, who cried over Lenin’s death (but who was later considered a traitor): 1) Modernist American E. E. Cummings (1894-1962) and 2) to a lesser degree, Chinese Modernist Yuan Shuipai, pen name Ma Fantuo (1907-1983). Reply Daniel Kemper March 22, 2021 I’m late to the chase — apologies. I’m glad to see a strong pushback. Arts need a non-monocultural voice. I particularly liked the closing: “Don’t act like witless sheep. Behave like men And women. Don’t give tyrants the control Over your face, because their final goal Is to possess your body and your soul.” –which called us to be strong (and slightly updated Dante’s language to include women). This is one that that liberals never call for. Reply Cynthia Erlandson March 22, 2021 Thank you, Daniel! 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.