Defining Moment – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Image: from therugbygroup.sandler.com

“The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis.” Dante Alighieri

Defining Moment

We are never so defined as by our crises,
the irruptions of pressure force change,
suddenly malaise transforms to purpose,
individualism rediscovers its malignancy.

The irruptions of pressure force change,
denial is the most useless safety helmet,
individualism rediscovers its malignancy,
slowly but surely we leave our cocoons.

Denial is the most useless safety helmet
while ignorance is the tightest kevlar,
slowly but surely we leave our cocoons,
the dividing line of transition now drawn.

While ignorance is the tightest kevlar,
suddenly malaise transforms to purpose,
the dividing line of transition now drawn,
we are never so defined as by our crises.


Copyright 2022 ©Paul Vincent Cannon
All Rights Reserved ®

Note: in this I am deeply influenced by Jean-Paul Sartre’s dictum that the French were never so free as when Germany occupied France – meaning that it suddenly gave purpose, called forth identity and action.

32 Comments

Filed under awareness, ecology, Economics, environment, identity, life, Pantoum, poem, quote

32 responses to “Defining Moment – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

  1. Truly lovely, Paul.

    ~David

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I could not have read a better line today, than the first line. It is exactly where I found myself today and rose up stronger and with purpose. Just wonderful writing, Paul.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Echoes of my old friend Prufrock:

    “Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
    Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?”

    As your poem so ably expresses, the question has become more and more relevant. Throwing off that useless safety helmet of denial takes a lot of courage.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Your note at the end is a scary but true thought

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wonderful, and actually I was all in even with the quote you posted before the poem began. 😉 “Ignorance is the tightest kevlar”….sadly, yes.
    -Julie

    Liked by 1 person

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  8. The cadence of this poem is perfect, Paul! Of course, your thoughts are as well. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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  10. Charis Counselling

    Fantastic Pantoum – I am continually amazed at how you craft these pantoums so well

    >

    Liked by 1 person

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