When the year began, I had no inkling the political scene would evolve as it has. Yes, I did post about the growing tensions within the Republican Party, and even my roots within it from childhood. And, after decades of professional public silence on what I’d observed in the national and local political scene, I felt liberated to voice my long stifled anger at what I’d felt growing more and more ominous and threatening from the erroneously labeled conservative side of the spectrum – the one posing the most pressing threats to American liberty and the very survival of the human species.

And so I scheduled a series of Woodpecker Reports, drawing on fairly recent history, with no idea of how they would provide counterpoint for the latest news reports. I’d assumed, after all, it would be Bush versus Clinton in the final stretch, without any hint of Bernie Sanders or the theoretical Jill whomever of the purists, even before adding Gary Johnson to the mix.

I dedicated the year’s postings to John Greenleaf Whittier, a Quaker whose polemic poetry remains acerbic, even brilliant. So in closing the calendar, is seems right to nod in the Friend’s direction.

His most famous poem, Snow-Bound: A Winter Idyl, is more than a simple poem. For me, it crosses into the realm of a longpoem, one based on what we New Englanders experience as a Nor’easter, or a slow-moving hurricane out of season. In this case, one that strikes in December, albeit a world quite unlike what his niece, decades later, would recognize. Yes, America was filled with great change through the 19th century.

From that sprawling work I’ll take these lines to close the year:

Who hath not learned, in hours of faith,
The truth to flesh and sense unknown,
That Life is ever lord of Death,
And Love can never lose its own!


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