My four-star sonnet

Bottles, purple backgroup, 22 April 2019, watercolor by William Eaton - 1In which the poet does his best to cope with having had to drop off a package at an Amazon retail store


Finally I got to hell, and what a scene!

Bright eyes, chipper cries on every side.

Families who were eager, families well pleased –

Credit machines and more and more things!


Hell is not fire; there’s no time to repent?

Hell is when you feel you’re surrounded?

Mid brightly packaged stuff, money soon spent?

(Being able to get – a joy unbounded?)


These people with me this retail space sharing,

Why do they not feel a little condemned?

Eternity they’ll spend without even knowing

What’s such fun for them is not fun in the end?


Or has virtue again my lone self misplaced –

Welcomed to a heaven just not to my taste?


— Poem and watercolor by William Eaton

1  Can’t paint watercolors like the one shown here without thinking about the Italian painter Giorgio Morandi (1890–1964), about whom I have written two essays:

2  A friend has passed along this from S. A. Applin and FastCompany (whatever that means?). Click here to read the whole (21 April 2019) piece, including sentences about Amazon treating its workers like robots.

It seems that almost every week there is a controversial story (or three) in the news about Amazon. In the past two weeks alone, there have been stories about Echo conversations being recorded and transcribed, Amazon employees protesting the company’s poor position on climate change, the company’s efforts to argue that face recognition fears aren’t “significant,” and Senator Warren questioning Amazon’s $0 federal tax bill on a $10 billion U.S. profit.


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