Tuesday Poem

Praise of Learning

Learn the simplest things. For you
whose time has already come
it is never too late!
Learn you’re A B C’s, it is not enough,
but learn them! Do not let it discourage you,
begin! You must know everything!
You must take over the leadership!

Learn, man in the asylum!
Learn, man in prison!
Learn, wife in the kitchen!
Learn, man of sixty!
Seek out the school, you who are homeless!
Sharpen your wits, you who shiver!
Hungry man, reach for the book: it is a weapon.
You must take over the leadership.

Don’t be afraid of asking, brother!
Don’t be won over,
see for yourself!
What you don’t know yourself,
you don’t know.
Add up the reckoning.
It’s you who must pay it.
Put you finger on each item,
ask: how did this get here?
You must take over the leadership.

by Bertolt Brecht
Collected Poems- Bertolt Brecht
Grove Press, 1947