Freeman

ARTICLE

The Robins (A Poem)

APRIL 01, 1959 by ANN TERRILL

Ann Terrill is a California housewife.


Hymns of truth may die unsung

For want of men to sing.

But robins yearly take the job

Of building brand new Spring.

They live their simply patterned way

And somehow carry on,

While nations fall for lack of faith

To build a pattern on.

 

For robins never waver

In their task (a stubborn trait);

Nor set up limits on their time

(They can’t be thinking straight)!

 

What makes that type so unconcerned?

They might produce much more

Of sprightly sunny melody

Than Spring had bargained for.

What then? There is no guarantee

Of payment in advance!

They’re just too energetic, so

Best look on them askance.

 

They might encounter lots of things

Like hurricanes or snow,

Or scrawny worms or bigger birds

Or cats, or brats, you know!

 

They haven’t asked a subsidy

From God to cover these,

And don’t you think they’re foolish

To depend so much on trees?

 

But they go right on working,

Bearing young and singing, too!

Why haven’t they the sense to change?

Improve! The way we do.

ASSOCIATED ISSUE

April 1959

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Unfortunately, educating people about phenomena that are counterintuitive, not-so-easy to remember, and suggest our individual lack of human control (for starters) can seem like an uphill battle in the war of ideas. So we sally forth into a kind of wilderness, an economic fairyland. We are myth busters in a world where people crave myths more than reality. Why do they so readily embrace untruth? Primarily because the immediate costs of doing so are so low and the psychic benefits are so high.
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