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Poetry by Rachel A. Gold

The Measure Of Giants

Drew Hurley

Do we judge a giant by the length of his shadow?
That deceptive apparition,
which hides beneath our footsteps at noon
and lounges lazily across many acres at dusk,
is too fickle and whimsical
to be the measure of a man so steadfast and sure.
Even if we fallible observers could unamiously agree
upon an Olympian perspective on which to stand,
how would we compute the length of a shadow's span?
Indeed, what is the relationship between a shadow and a man?
And when eventide steals across the land and all shadows fade away
the giant continues his loney vigil, long into the night;
for the giant there is no comfort or play.
No, the measure of giants is not in the length of the shadow cast.

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Do we judge a giant by the strength of his hand?
What does it mean if one lifts an awful and mighty weight
and yet another, with block and tackle, hoists the same,
and even more, with far greater ease?
Which man is stronger, tell me, if you please?
Should he sprint against a locomotive, scale Sisyphus's mount,
throw javelins at jet planes, pick fruit for tortured Tantalus,
broad-jump with a rocket ship, or combat mighty mars?
What test of strength can measure the giants of man?
And when age begins to sap the sweet quickness of youth
a giant is not deterred from that same sure touch of tender caress
which bears the benchmark of his work.
No, the measure of giants is not found in the muscles of the hand.

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Do we judge a giant by the heigth of his stature?
Is it true that size doth make the man?
How then did Napolean bring Europe to her knees
Or tiny Alexander ever get to be so great?
If height height were the prime criterion,
would not basketball be the sport of Kings?
I beg, please demonstrate the correlation
between genius and the height that one is tall.
How can height be the measure of us all?
And when we lay prone upon our beds for rest at night,
what is then the differeence between our height?
No, the measure of a giant is not how tall he stands.

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What is, then, the measure of a giant?
A giant sees not his own shadow,
he forever looks forward, not back.
A giant knows not his own strength,
for his power is always used with a gracious touch of gentleness.
And a giant cannot perceive his true stature
because he constantly looks up to others, never down.
Like the bumble bee the physicist maintains
cannot aerodynamically fly, he flies.
Like the humming bird the biologist claims
cannot produce the sound to sing, he sings.
Like the .... but why go on?
Giants we have; but what is the measure of such a man?

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How can we measure that which we do not know?
Giants walk among men, disguised as you and I.
Sometimes we recognize their presence
and are blessed
by their always too brief journey with us.
The giant never stays beyond when his help is needed,
for there are always more who urgently seek his aid.
How do you spot a giant?
Look deep into his eyes.
Two things will leap out, shinning for all the world to see:
the tragedy and anguish that has marked and scarred his life,
and the love and dedication that has sustained and nourished his soul.
The giant is a lonely man. It must be so.
He bears the memories of despair heavily upon his sholders,
like Atlas,
he never falters as he strides forever forward
in the service
of those with the need of his dedicated and determined hand.
How do you measure a giant?
Look deep, deep into his eyes.

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Tuesday, 04-May-2010 14:47:44 EDT