— The Hangman — By Maurice Ogden

Click The Hangman's Image (above) to Read The Poem

My third favorite poem (behind The Raven, and The Road Less Traveled), is The Hangman by Maurice Ogden.  Written in 1950-51, the poem is used to explain what will happen to those who fail to take action when others are being attacked. Some believe it was written to explain the rise of Nazism, others believe it was written to explain McCarthyism.  Still others believe Ogden was a attack on Socialism. If it were to matter, I believe Ogden’s real enemy was Large Government.  How do I come to that conclusion?

1) The Hangman Builds His Gallows on the Courthouse Square (representing government property)

2) The Gallows tree takes root and keeps growing in size.  (representing growth)

3) The Gallows eventually lays a shadow across the town (government ends powerfully overbearing)

Who writes this good? This is damn near a perfect poem.

Kali Pinckney