Rebirth of Reason


Atlas Shrugged: The 50th Anniversary
by Walter Donway

Walter Donway, a lifelong admirer of Ayn Rand, and a founding trustee of the Atlas Society, wrote this poem for the 50th anniversary celebration of the publication of Atlas Shrugged. It is republished, along with many others about Objectivism, the benevolent sense of life, and the battle for reason, capitalism, and freedom in Touched By Its Rays, available this month from the Objectivism Store of the Atlas Society.

Atlas Shrugged:
The Fiftieth Anniversary
By Walter Donway

The invocation is to none but me,
Calling upon no god, or star, or ashes;
Annointing no history, no prophecy.

I am the sanction, the man who came
Alone and naked to the world's golden rim
To raise my arms, to see, and speak a name.

Mine is the name. I have looked upon Earth;
And none can name for me what is.
I am alone at reason's birth.

At this altar no sacrifice, no knee bent;
I have scaled the mountains of my freedom
To bring to you a single mind's assent.


A farm in New England; an old white barn;
Two boys who roam until the moon has slipped
Above the woods and frosted the fields and ponds;
The Sunday steeples raised like hands in prayer
For creeds that once had writhed in holy fire;
In every room, the books adrift like fields
Cut for the reaper to harvest in season:
Two boys, still beardless, sit on a worn step
Squinting in the sun, or lie among apples,
Or loll beneath the eaves, to read one book
And know the world is theirs to make.


Just say it was our destiny,
As immigrants who chose
A nation new beneath the sky,
To fall in love with heroes.

Yet, with a continent to build,
What had free men to do
With sword, or plume, or castles filled
With grain the peasant grew?

Who would define for us the man
Who sailed across the sea
And saw that here the world began
And dreamed of what would be?

He made his mark from coast to coast;
It's called the blesséd land.
For thanks, they scourged him at the post
And marked him with the brand.

At bay or broken or defiant,
He fought as best he could.
The honest dared to call him “great”--
None knew to call him “good.”

We lived to see a Judgment Day,
And you and I behold
The man whose mind has won the Earth
Rise to hear his story told.

And now it's half a century
That I have said: Francisco,
Rearden, Ragnar, Galt, and Dagny--
Always their names just so.
All born for me in one instant,
As real as any friend,
Alive in realms so radiant
My eyes can see no end.

From Touched By Its Rays, a new book of poetry by Walter Donway, published this month by the Atlas Society and for sale at the Objectivism Store on the Atlas Society Web site. For more information and more poems, see the Web site TouchedByItsRays. There are more than 40 poems in this first-edition, hardcover book.

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