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For evil to triumph:

Sonnet 9 of Sonnets 2000


For evil to triumph, it is enough
That good men do nothing, or better yet,
Criticize without thinking; mock, taunt, scoff,
Disparage or malign without regret;
Become a clod of piteous complaints,
Resentful of anything that transcends
The outer bounds of our selfish constraints.
And let ourselves be used for sterile ends;
Deconstruct the world in pieces and then
Present the parts as greater than the whole;
Declare the whole to be beyond our ken,
With truth discredited as rigmarole.
In other words, do everything that you,
My love, instinctively would never do.

.* First published in Sparrow: The Yearbook of the Sonnet,
West Lafayette, Indiana: 2000

References: See Stephen Denning, Sonnets 2000(iUniverse, October 2000)


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