Five sovereign fingers taxed the breath,
Doubled the globe of dead and halved a country;
These five kings did a king to death.
The mighty hand leads to a sloping shoulder,
The finger joints are cramped with chalk;
A goose’s quill has put an end to murder
That put an end to talk.
The hand that signed the treaty bred a fever,
And famine grew, and locusts came;
Great is the hand that holds dominion over
Man by a scribbled name.
The five kings count the dead but do not soften
The crusted wound nor stroke the brow;
A hand rules pity as a hand rules heaven;
Hands have no tears to flow.
This is one of my favorite poems. And Dylan Thomas is one of my favorite poets. (That is a picture of his poetry workspace above). Don't worry, I'm not going to go all 'English class' on you. Poetry, in a general sense, is not my thing. However, I do have a few favorites: Dylan Thomas, John Clare, William Wordsworth, and William Blake.
The poem above is a bit different from the others that Dylan Thomas has written. Its more direct rather than abstract, meaning that more people are able to grasp its meaning. Which I believe is very important because this poem is about something very important.
I loved this poem even before I discovered my intense passion for politics and governments. And, I think this is one of the best poems written about politics. It's just as applicable to the political situation now, as it was when it was written. The best line is (in my opinion) "Great is the hand that holds dominion over Man by a scribbled name." Thomas reminds us what a great responsibility it is to hold so much power over others. These days, I think it's almost impossible not to abuse that power in some way. Some countries just do it more obviously than others. And whether the world is going to change for better or for worse, I think its important to be aware of the consequences of our actions. So please, dont just read this poem: remember it.