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Education of a Prince

09.24.19 Posted in today's words by

Jay Carson is emeritus professor of English Studies at Robert Morris University.

Education of a Prince
Case Study: Yakov
By Jay Carson

Stalin is not his real name
since his steely father assumed that name . . .
but you know all that.

What of Yakov,
who was left motherless
after typhus took her,
along with all the love
in his father’s heart?

What of Yakov,
ordered out of his father’s house
to be a man and go fight Germans?

What makes a man throw himself
against an electrified POW fence?
His father’s refusal to negotiate his freedom?

Or learning from Polish prisoner friends
about Papa’s brutal execution
of their fellow officers in Katyn Forest?

What of us all? The necessary eventual loss of mother’s love,
the often steel box of a father’s nameless heart,
banishment from home to go be a man or woman,
tortured suffering for a father’s sins?

Stalin said the loss of one person is a tragedy;
the loss of ten thousand, a statistic.

One Response to “Education of a Prince”

  1. Ed Zahniser says:

    Wow, poem with a punch! Thanks.

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