Saturday, 18 July 2009

sound of silence: flower in the rifle barrel

Hello darkness, my old friend
I've come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence

In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
'Neath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence

"Fools", said I, "You do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you"
But my words, like silent raindrops fell
And echoed
In the wells of silence

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said, "The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls"
And whispered in the sounds of silence

Sound of Silence- Simon & Garfunkel

A photograph of Jan Rose Kasmir(center) standing in front of a troop of 2,500 rifle-wielding soldiers was taken in 1967 by Marc Riboud. In this picture, she was in an anti-Vietnam war protest with a crowd of 100,000 outside of the Pentagon, "placing a flower in the barrel of a soldier's rifle." This picture resemble a war-violence armed force and a flower child innocence which soon became a symbolic picture of antiwar movement. It become famous as shown an effort of people talk to the soldiers and convince them to throw down their guns and join them.

More than 30 years later, Riboud reunited with Kasmir when her picture of protesting Iraq War in London was taken by Riboud once again.

I always think that blogger putting song lyrics on their blog is a stupid idea. But not at the moment(ha!), as this song's lyrics is like a poem written beautifully, a meaningful address to war and peace. The song is sang by Simon & Grafunkel. The lyrics refer to silence as a cancer, and if people are honest and not afraid to voice out and talk, war can be prevented. Just like Jan Rose Kasmir, she influnce millions of people including a man putting flowers in the rifle barrel on the 2nd day of the Vietnam War protest(first pic). Simon & Garfunkel did not write this about the vietnam war, but when it became popular, the war was on and people think it's a powerful statement as an anti-war song.


  1. Hi! I am jan rose. This site has touched my heart. The sad truth about the young man in the top picture is that he is no longer with us - a victim of AIDS. He became Chameleon, an influential glitter drag queen that forever influenced the fashion world, according to the New York Times.
    My daughter is now 17 and is hoping to spend more time in Israel, i(the economy has not been good to me - I am a medically-trained massage therapist in Hilton Head, and things are financially scary. If it were not for my faith in G!d...)
    I wanted to share that I hope to return to school to become a Rabbi. If you want to find me, you can email me at PEACE.

  2. Hi - jan rose again - I was 17 in that picture..........

  3. Good on you Jan - what an inspiring image :)

  4. Imagine they started to open fire LOL