Saturday, October 2, 2010

End of Banned Books Week

CrankEven though it's the end of Banned Books Week, it won't be the end of people deciding they know what is best for you. So, unfortunately it will go on. I guess the one good thing I take away from people who ban books is that it does draw attention to those things that they want to sweep under the rug. It draws attention to those things we NEED to talk about. So, to end the week, I will post this poem by Ellen Hopkins. She has several banned books with the subject of drug abuse. Crank was the first in the trilogy that was banned.

To you zealots and bigots and false
patriots who live in fear of discourse.
You screamers and banners and burners
who would force books
off shelves in your brand name
of greater good.
You say you're afraid for children,
innocents ripe for corruption
by perversion or sorcery on the page.
But sticks and stones do break
bones, and ignorance is no armor.
You do not speak for me,
and will not deny my kids magic
in favor of miracles.
You say you're afraid for America,
the red, white, and blue corroded
by terrorists, socialists, the sexually
confused. But we are a vast quilt
of patchwork cultures and multi-gendered
identities. You cannot speak for those
whose ancestors braved
different seas.
You say you're afraid for God,
the living word eroded by Muhammed
and Darwin and Magdalene.
But the omnipotent sculptor of heaven
and earth designed intelligence.
Surely you dare not speak
for the father, who opens
his arms to all.
A word to the unwise.
Torch every book.
Char every page.
Burn every word to ash.
Ideas are incombustible.
And therein lies your real fear.


  1. Are they, and did they ban this book along with others?

  2. I do think that they did due to the drug issue. :(

  3. Oh, what a marvelous poem! The lines "ignorance is no armor" and "ideas are incombustible" really resonate with me.

  4. A great poem, very meaningful to those of us who love all words.


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