Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "Only the Messenger"

This is today's freebie, inspired by [personal profile] ellenmillion. I really like how ambiguous it turned out, because it highlights how tolerance, like propaganda, has both positive and negative aspects. This poem belongs to the Torn World project, and it also fills "the messenger" square in my 4-1-16 card for the Archetypal Characters Bingo fest.

"Only the Messenger"

Tarrevalen is a servant of the Empire.

He does not concern himself with
politics, only with propaganda,
according to the dictates
of his profession.

It is not his job to identify
the issues which disturb
the peace, nor to decide
the policies that solve them.

His duty is to craft the words
that will convince people to do
whatever is best for the Empire.

He writes up the leaflets and
the scripts, carries things to
and from the printers.

On days when his department
is shorthanded, he helps distribute
materials and even acts out the scripts.

They are not always in accordance
with his own tastes, but Tarrevalen
understands that this is the nature
of life in a complex society.

He does not need to agree
with what is to be said
in order to say it well.

He is only the messenger.
Tags: cyberfunded creativity, fantasy, fishbowl, poem, poetry, politics, reading, science fiction, torn world, weblit, writing
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