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The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
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Poem: "Weapons of Mass Instruction"
This poem came out of the August 5, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by Anthony Barrette.

WARNING: For Adolf Hitler. Because Hitler is always a warning. Nazi propaganda, nontelepathic mind control, ugly history.


"Weapons of Mass Instruction"


As an infantryman
in World War I,
Adolf Hitler learned
the value of propaganda
from effective British and
ineffective German examples.

The next time Germany went to war,
he made sure they had efficient memes,
clearly addressed to the broad mass of people.

It was designed to appeal not to logic
but to emotion, snagging attention
with consistent formulas.

To Hitler, the truth was a thing
to be stretched and bent in service
of the nation's needs, regardless
of its own shape and nature.

In the end, he discovered
that it was not so malleable
a thing as he believed.

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