Quote from John Brown's Body poem by Stephen Vincent Benet
Monday, February 18, 2013
My friend Mark Horstman readily shares that his favorite part of John Brown's Body (Poem) by Stephen Vincent Benet is ...
If you take a flat map
And move wooden blocks upon it strategically,
The thing looks well, the blocks behave as they should.
The science of war is moving live men like blocks.
And getting the blocks into place at a fixed moment.
But it takes time to mold your men into blocks
And flat maps turn into country where creeks and gullies
Hamper your wooden squares. They stick in the brush,
They are tired and rest, they straggle after ripe blackberries,
And you cannot lift them up in your hand and move them.
It is all so clear in the maps, so clear in the mind,
But the orders are slow, the men in the blocks are slow
To move, when they start they take too long on the way -
The General loses his stars, and the block-men die
In unstrategic defiance of martial law
Because still used to just being men, not block parts.
Very powerful, thoughtful, and meaningful words that have now become one of my favorites also.
I recently noticed that Mark (who is co-host of Manager-Tools.com) read this part of the poem in a Career Tools podcast entitled How Not To Multi-Task (Part 2).
I took the liberty to edit a version of just the poem from the podcast. It is going in my Monday motivational playlists and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.