A Quiet Epiphany
This poem was written in 1982, and revised over the next two years. It leapt out of the pages of one of Anne Morrow Lindbergh's autobiographical books, War Within and Without: 1939-1944, dealing with the period just before, and into, the Second World War. The book is a collection of diary entries, letters, and reminiscences about that time. It includes details of the American struggle to stay out of the war, and the America First movement Charles Lindbergh belonged to, and continues into the time when America joined the Allied effort, and Lindbergh volunteered his aid.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh, a woman herself torn by conflicting loyalties, writes clearly and objectively about her experiences. I found one of the most moving themes in the book was her friendship with Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, and his death while they were still estranged over the hurtful effects of American isolationism. It is also the most realistic (and inspiring) account of a good, mature marriage I have ever read. While the Lindberghs may have disagreed violently with each other's political views, they were devoted to each other, and would not say anything to others that would appear disloyal.
Fittingly, this poem is the one that first crossed the Atlantic for me, when it won third in Bournemouth, England (see Publication, below).
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