TWO SIDES OF A COIN

Heroism has always intrigued me.  But I often wonder whether it is but "one side of the coin".

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Hero and coward,

Two sides of a coin;

How hard you may look,

You won't see the join.

 

A flick of the fingers -

The hero's in place;

Another flick brings up

The opposite face.

 

Hero and coward:

What's in a name?

One day with the laurels,

The next with the blame.

 

A flick of the fingers -

The hero appears,

Another flick shows you

A man and his fears.

 

Hero and coward,

Within everyone;

One day to the fray,

The next, on the run.

 

cowardhero

◄ WINTER GALLOPS

BELIEVING THAT I LIED ►

Comments

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John Coopey

Wed 16th Nov 2011 15:43

You manage to get maximum power out of minimal words

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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Tue 15th Nov 2011 12:23

Newbury, I totally agree. An excellent little structured poem to jolt a lot of thought into gear once again. I too think 'motivation' is the core 'ideal' in any use of the word; and then, 'who' uses it. I can never reconcile people sent deliberately to their certain slaughter with no chance of survival whatsoever, a strategy engineered since time out of memory. How are those poor souls 'heroes'?

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M.C. Newberry

Mon 14th Nov 2011 16:39

Hello Harry - I go along with the idea that
the nearest we might get to true heroism is the
"cold blooded" variety - still doing the deed
despite the known risks. The secret agents who
went to Occupied Europe knowing what they faced
if caught by the Gestapo is probably my idea
of that. But one could also argue that they &
others might have deep-set reasons beyond the
usual range of motivation, which itself might be "suspect" - even reaching extremes beyond what we might consider "normal" behaviour.
In short, the subject of heroism is endlessly
fascinating, with no ready answer to one or the
other within the bounds of opportunity and -
perhaps particularly relevant - circumstance.

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Harry O'Neill

Mon 14th Nov 2011 16:19


M.C. Hi!
As Chesterton pointed out: The paradox of heroism, is that when the hero feels most fearful and cowardly, and yet goes ahead and performs the heroic act, then the virtue of heroism is at its zenith.

The greatest coward, then could be the greatest hero.

(but only if he performs the heroic act)

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