|Eli Siegel's note
to the poem
They Look at Us
|Martin Luther King on the conservative
side is with the slain Abraham Lincoln. But as one who went out in the
streets, he is with the non-treatise-writing John Brown. It is easy to
think of John Brown, like a star, looking down on us, seeing how we shall
do. (Vachel Lindsay has a good poem on the subject.) And we can now think
of Martin Luther King, too—in the company of John Brown—looking down at
us, observing. Shelley says something of the kind in the last lines of
I am borne darkly, fearfully, afar;From this, we can see John Keats with Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King: there is no reason we should not. Indeed, every star can be regarded as the largest meaning of a person: for a star looks. To look down from on high at us is to be in the employ of a world careful that what it, the world, is, be loved as much as is deserved.—And John Brown, too, wanted some way of looking at the world loved rather than an acquiring way of particular parties.
here to read the poem "They Look at Us"