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Crane

Stephen Crane
1871-1900

 
"A Newspaper is..."

(From "War is Kind," 1899)

 

A newspaper is a collection of half-injustices
Which, bawled by boys from mile to mile,
Spreads its curious opinion
To a million merciful and sneering men,
While families cuddle the joys of the fireside
When spurred by tale of dire lone agony.

A newspaper is a court
Where every one is kindly and unfairly tried
By a squalor of honest men.

A newspaper is a market
Where wisdom sells its freedom
And melons are crowned by the crowd.

A newspaper is a game
Where his error scores the player victory
While another's skill wins death.

A newspaper is a symbol;
It is fetless life's chronicle,
A collection of loud tales
Concentrating eternal stupidities,
That in remote ages lived unhaltered,
Roaming through a fenceless world.

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