Whenever I think of romanticism, I think of Eugene Delacroix's Painting of Lady Liberty Leading the People (1830). The centerpiece, Marianne, remains an eternal symbol of the republic (of France).
For July, my theme for the month is Patriotism and our vision of Marianne exudes this very spirit. Still used as the symbol of the French government, Marianne is the used in the seal of the U.S. Senate and the U.S. Department of the Army. It embodies and glamorizes young men sacrificing themselves in the name of freedom. Freedom is so easily taken for granted, and so the painting remains a symbol of all that is means to be a patriot.
Today's entry from Kenneth O'Shaughnessy was inspired from the same scene that is the climax of Les Miserables musical that is in book, stage musical, and film form. Marianne leads us to battle in bonnet rouge and the story is now ethereal and has a legend all on it's own. With Bastille Day this coming Sunday, Marianne seemed a logical choice for my column. Viva la France!
Be a Patriot
By Kenneth O’Shaughnessy
Do you see your brothers there
As you share the Fatherland?
Can you work toward it's good
With all your brothers, hand in hand?
With the powerful and poor
Can you give just a little more
And be a patriot by taking your brother's stand?
There's a call that's ringing out
To leave your party and your pride
To walk out of your chambers
And walk by your fellow's side
To treat all your brothers
As those for whom someone had died
Do you see your brothers here?
In this one thing you both agree:
You both want to live and be
The most that you can be.
So seek to do your brother good,
Help him to live the way you would