Two Poems

June 1, 2010


For Nate Thornton on his 95th Birthday, January 14, 2010

Tomorrow evening I’ll join with

many others for a meeting of the

Revolutionary Poets Brigade.

The Brigade exists because you

fought in Spain, Nate Thornton.

In 1983, Alejandro Murguia and

others organized poets, writers,

translators and intellectuals into

The Roque Dalton Cultural Brigade,

named after the great El Salvadorean

poet.  That Brigade existed because

you fought in Spain, Nate Thornton.

A year later, I and poets Boadiba in

Oakland and Paul Laraque in New

York formed the Jacques Roumain

Cultural Brigade, named after the poet

and novelist who was the youngest

founder of a communist party in the

20th century, the Communist Party of

Haiti.  Which not only existed because

you fought in Spain, Nate Thornton, but

whom you may have encountered when

Jacques visited the International Brigades

in Spain itself during the Civil War.

These resonances of the engagement

of the 20th and now into the 21st cen-

tury Brigadistas of justice and light,

who cherish the vision of a world trans-

formed into ever blossoming tomorrows,

are part of the birthday acclamations for

you, Nate Thornton, who knows more

than most that that vision will never die.

“Beaten, chained, slandered — look, it’s

reaching for your voice. Lift it!  Let is

Rise in its place.  The Internationale

Shall be the human race.”


(*Izibongo is a Praise Song in South Africa)

Accent on International

against the globaloney

that never arrives

at the hungry mouths of the world.

Accent on the International

Brigades that are still

the deathless moment human Being

became conscious of itself.

Accent on the Abraham

Lincoln Brigade, which has always

belonged to the heart of,

by and for all lovers of liberty,

which had never stopped

bringing supplies, medicine

to front lines of struggle against

fascism in whatever form,

with an ageless energy redounding

to original hope, defying

the advocates of coalitions of alone

by bringing collectivity

into the twenty-first century,

inspiring brigadistas

everywhere—on mountainsides,

on cultural fronts—

to continue the war

humanity can never lose.

Jack Hirschman



2 Responses to “ Two Poems ”

  1. Judith Hochberg on June 3, 2010 at 11:53 am
    URL for Facebook Album of Emanuel Hochberg’s art SCW, WWII Iwo Jima
    He is reported by BING as living in Chicago at age 101 Says Emanuel “I ain’t never died” [sic! Joe Hill]
    Judith/Jamie Memorial Day 2010

  2. Judith Hochberg on June 3, 2010 at 11:59 am

    The main thing is to stay in touch with the younger people–and they do keep contacting me as Emanuel’s widow. Even though ALB is do9ng a good job networking other than the mailing list muist be done individually. Judith