Monday, July 29, 2013

The Man with a Hoe

"The Man with a Hoe"

"The Man with a Hoe" by Edwin Markham, 1899, was written as a verbal response to an earlier painting by a French painter, Jean-Francois Millet, in 1863. Both painting and poem have been "moving testimonies to what the too prevalent Inhumanity of humanity can cause.

Ever since first reading Markham's poem, fifty/sixty years ago, I've frequently conjured up the image of modern man caught in his current escapades of being inhuman to his fellow humans. I think of war, of slavery, oppression, and hunger. I see the sophistication of methods to kill, to oppress, to enslave. Markham saw these too a hundred years ago and wrote his compelling commentary about what inhumanity of humanity can cause.

I urge everyone interested to pull up on your devise "The Man with a Hoe" and determine for yourself the image Markham leaves you with.

Ronald C. Downie

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