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9/5/12

Our September Poem - A SMILE OF UNRIGHTEOUSNESS


A SMILE OF UNRIGHTEOUSNESS
* or, The Soothing Unction of Schadenfreude
"... In the morning, glad did I see
My foe outstretched beneath the tree."
                    – Blake, "A Poison Tree"
The Germans have a useful term,
They call it Schadenfreude,
A vengeful psychologic worm
Meaning: "Be overjoyed
That someone who has done you dirt
Has fallen into shame."
It helps to ease away the hurt
When he has smeared your name.
There's no law registered on earth,
And likely none in heaven,
Forbids your grin of ugly mirth
If he stands unforgiven.
Had he conceived some dire offense,
And ground you with his heel,
To bite that heel restores the sense
Of self-worth you should feel.
Montresor's watchword neatly says it,
For tricking Fortunato,
"Nemo me impune lacessit"
A most revealing motto.
So smile away and show your teeth,
As evil fortune comes
To him who hung your mourning-wreath,
Let blood drip down your gums.
8-23-12



* Blood surely trickled from the jaws of Poe's protagonist in "A Cask of Amontillado."


 "No man injures me with impunity" Three cheers for Schadenfreude.

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