[ Enter SHENANDOAH, to the right. A spotlight shines on him as the theater is darkened and the curtain rises on a darkened stage .]


This was the greatest day of my whole life! I was eight days of age:

Twenty-five years

Consume my being as I speak (for we
Are made of years and days, not flesh and blood),
And no event since then is as important!
In January 1914 a choice was made
Which in my life has played a part as endless
As the world-famous apple, eaten in Eden,
Which made original sin and the life of man
--Or as the trigger finger with a bitten nail
Which Prinzip's mind was soon to press
In Sarajevo, firing at Verdun,
St. Petersburg, Vienna, and Berlin--
And like the length of Cleopatra's nose,
And like the grain of sand in Cromwell's kidney,
As Pascal said, who knew a thing or two,
Or like the pinpoint prick which gave the great
Eloquent statesman lockjaw in the prime of life
(O Death is eminent, beyond belief!)
--Return with me, stand at my point of view,
Regard with my emotion the small event
Which gave my mind and gave my character,
Amid the hundred thousand possibilities
Heredity and community avail,
Bound and engender,
the very life I know!

[ The stage lights up and the curtain rises .]

The curtain rises on a dining room In the lower middle class in 1914:

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.