Friday, September 13, 2013

Bring Me Men

Some of you might recall the first four lines of this poem from the song "Empires" by Lamya.  "Empires" is based on the poem, The Coming American, by American librarian and poet Samuel Walter Foss commemorating the 75th anniversary of the American acquisition of the state of California from Mexico in 1848.

A remix of the song version reached #1 on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart in 2002.  The first time I heard the song, I was dancing at DJ Victor Calderone's "Provocateur" Dance at Hammerstein Ballroom  with my friends Poodle (whom I've mentioned many times over the history of this here blog), Diarmaid and Kevin (no, another one) during 2002's New York Pride Weekend.  Ms. Lamya herself was on hand to do the honors while banging on drums with hair out to there.  She was introduced to the crowd by Alan Cumming.  

It was all very magical.

But back to the poem.  There is, admittedly, something oddly homoerotic about it.   I don't think any of my friends, myself included, knew that it was based on a literary piece of work.  Here is that poem, in all it's glory:

    Bring me men to match my mountains;
    Bring me men to match my plains, --
    Men with empires in their purpose,
    And new eras in their brains.

    Bring me men to match my prairies,
    Men to match my inland seas,
    Men whose thought shall pave a highway
    Up to ampler destinies;

    Pioneers to clear Thought's marshlands,
    And to cleanse old Error's fen;
    Bring me men to match my mountains --
    Bring me men!

    Bring me men to match my forests,
    Strong to fight the storm and blast,
    Branching toward the sky future,
    Rooted in the fertile past.

    Bring me men to match my valleys,
    Tolerant of sun and snow,
    Men within whose fruitful purpose
    Time's consummate blooms shall grow.

    Men to tame the tigerish instincts
    Of the lair and cave and den,
    Cleans the dragon slime of Nature --
    Bring me men!

    Bring me men to match my rivers,
    Continent cleavers, flowing free,
    Drawn by the eternal madness
    To be mingled with the sea;

    Men of oceanic impulse,
    Men whose moral currents sweep
    Toward the wide-enfolding ocean
    Of an undiscovered deep;

    Men who feel the strong pulsation
    Of the Central Sea, and then
    Time their currents to its earth throb --
    Bring me men!

That last stanza is really something.  Bring them, indeed.