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Poetry #20
(published Late in the Year, 2000)
Unholy Sonnet #18
by Mark Jarman

In Civilization and Its Discontents
Freud quotes the poet Heine in a footnote
That's Schadenfreude incarnate. Heine wrote
(Although I'm playing loosely with the sense):
"My needs are few and my desires but these—
A woodland house, the best of simple food,
And just outside my door, if God is good,
Some six or seen of my enemies,
Strung up so as to make my heart swell full.
Before they died, I would forgive them all
The wrongs they'd done me— grant them absolution.
For to do on earth as it is done in heaven,
I know one's enemies must be forgiven,
But not before they're brought to execution."

Originally published in the collection Questions for Ecclesiastes by Mark Jarman, Story Line Press, 1997. Reprinted with permission from the author.

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