Karen Swenholt, dramatic sculpture

A foolish woman tears her own house down.

A house divided against itself will not stand.

I am disturbed by the vicious caricatures this nation has been drawing of one another. In an effort to nurse our hatreds and support the righteousness of our views we are frightening ourselves. And we want to believe these lies, though they fill us with anger and fear at our fellow citizens. This is a sculpture and two poems I have recently completed that illustrate the foolishness.

Each hand of “American Eagle” contends to be the first to slap the other. What American eagle’s hands do not realize is that even when the opposing hand is successfully smacked, the entity that contains both is hurt and thus winner is injured to the same degree as loser.

American Eagle
She strikes
And is surprised by the pain
Right hand crushes left
Left hand lies for gain
Winner loses all
When a nation of cartoons
Drawn with crude desperate strokes
Thick and stinking with opposing righteousness
Forget charity and truth
And this nation, like a madman
Pouring out invective against himself
Stumbles in the streets

I am one, not two.
And though I favor my right today
I can carry little without my left
And building needs two hands
One to work
One to steady
Or like walking
Which needs two halves for progress
Honor to you, Left
Honor to my Right.
Let us with purpose work together.
Karen Swenholt
Dec 19, 2011

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