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We are not concerned with the very poor. They are unthinkable, and only to be approached by the statistician or the poet. Options
Daemon
Posted: Friday, November 28, 2014 12:00:00 AM
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We are not concerned with the very poor. They are unthinkable, and only to be approached by the statistician or the poet.

E. M. Forster (1879-1970)
moniquester
Posted: Friday, November 28, 2014 1:05:47 AM

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I beg your pardon, Mr. Forster, but we MUST be concerned with the very poor. They are just as human as the rest of humanity, and we need to assist them with our affluence! To ignore the poor is to ignore much of the richness of human experience--they too, have a story to tell. It may not be a story we like to hear, but we need to hear it in order to keep life in perspective--in order to judge our morality or lack thereof--and that of the world, too.
excaelis
Posted: Friday, November 28, 2014 1:25:29 AM

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I think ol' E.M. is in fact agreeing with you, M. His disgust is that people do not actually do anything to help the poor. They just write bad poetry and keep statistics about them.
Bully_rus
Posted: Friday, November 28, 2014 1:46:15 AM
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We are not concerned with the very poor as the very rich and powerful not concerned with us… What a perfect mismatch!
Vit Babenco
Posted: Friday, November 28, 2014 2:38:01 AM

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It is better to be rich and healthy than poor and sick...
excaelis
Posted: Friday, November 28, 2014 3:28:03 AM

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Give me your hungry, your tired your poor I'll piss on 'em
that's what the Statue of Bigotry says
Your poor huddled masses, let's club 'em to death
and get it over with and just dump 'em on the boulevard

Lou Reed - Dirty Blvd
excaelis
Posted: Friday, November 28, 2014 4:10:28 AM

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It's better to be healthy, rich or poor.

My friend Carol has three Bentleys, a 17 bedroom Victorian Gothic Revival home, a helicopter pad and colon cancer.
Her son-in-law, aged 42, has a wonderful life and an inoperable brain tumour.
Another friend, Jeannie, has a hotel with a fifteenth century abbey attached and terminal pancreatic cancer.

I've got bugger all, but I'm not poor, and I'm healthy. I'll take that deal.
Geeman
Posted: Friday, November 28, 2014 4:17:17 AM

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pedro
Posted: Friday, November 28, 2014 4:34:23 AM
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We are not concerned with the very poor. They are unthinkable, and only to be approached by the statistician or the poet.

The poets will be approaching themselves then.
monamagda
Posted: Friday, November 28, 2014 4:53:45 AM

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This quote is from E.M. Forster, "Howards End" - Chapter 6

Here the complete statement.

Chapter VI

We are not concerned with the very poor. They are unthinkable and only to be approached by the statistician or the poet.This story deals with gentlefolk, or with those who are obliged to pretend that they are gentlefolk

Read the book : http://www.online-literature.com/forster/howards_end/6/
excaelis
Posted: Friday, November 28, 2014 4:57:49 AM

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pedro wrote:
We are not concerned with the very poor. They are unthinkable, and only to be approached by the statistician or the poet.

The poets will be approaching themselves then.
excaelis
Posted: Friday, November 28, 2014 5:00:21 AM

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pedro wrote:
We are not concerned with the very poor. They are unthinkable, and only to be approached by the statistician or the poet.

The poets will be approaching themselves then.



Poets - Tragically Hip


( apologies - the preceding post was a technical error )
ddaniel
Posted: Friday, November 28, 2014 5:06:52 AM

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He was obviously the cause of the very thing he addressed - unless you feed the poor, they will get poorer
pedro
Posted: Friday, November 28, 2014 5:41:51 AM
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if you feed the poor they will multiply
Bryn Kinnaird
Posted: Friday, November 28, 2014 6:37:28 AM

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Nothing has changed. They couldn't care less, so long as they have enough to do their bidding they care not on jot.
Ravindra
Posted: Friday, November 28, 2014 8:24:59 AM
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I agree with Pedro - 'if you feed the poor they will multiply'. Give them work and let them earn. This is more specific to India. Since politicians here believe in this for their own prosperity.

We need to steer clear of this poverty of ambition, where people want to drive fancy cars and wear nice clothes and live in nice apartments but don't want to work hard to accomplish these things. Everyone should try to realize their full potential.
Barack Obama


sandeep patra
Posted: Friday, November 28, 2014 8:45:02 AM

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Poor people are a part of our society and should be treated as equal and do need the assistance of the whole society
striker
Posted: Friday, November 28, 2014 10:16:38 AM
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the classes gap is ever increasing
elle16
Posted: Friday, November 28, 2014 6:12:40 PM
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To be such an intellect he should've known that even though you may be wealthy you can't escape old age, sickness and death, just like the poor. How sad to see his wisdom go to waste.
Marcus Mcilwaine
Posted: Friday, November 28, 2014 6:58:54 PM

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What a twat!!!
Barnacle Barney Bill
Posted: Friday, November 28, 2014 8:24:56 PM

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I am glad that I am only poor and not very poor. I have friends who are somewhat poor. The very poor are definitely unthinkable. They just won't go away. We poor and somewhat are embarrassed by them. Someone said, "The poor will always be with us." Sadly, I believe that is true. Do you?
Milica Boghunovich
Posted: Friday, November 28, 2014 8:25:11 PM
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We are not concerned with the very poor. They are unthinkable, and only to be approached by the statistician or the poet. Boo hoo!

E. M. Forster (1879-1970)

There are many kinds of the poor just as there are many kinds of the rich. There are intellectuals who are poor because they do not want to be exploited by bullies or who do not value the material, the honest hard-working poor who are exploited by the unscrupulous rich, the poor who are rich in spirit. The same applies to the rich, the rich who are in poor in spirit, the unscrupulous rich, etc.
Barnacle Barney Bill
Posted: Friday, November 28, 2014 8:27:15 PM

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Milica Boghunovich wrote:
We are not concerned with the very poor. They are unthinkable, and only to be approached by the statistician or the poet. Boo hoo!

E. M. Forster (1879-1970)

There are many kinds of the poor just as there are many kinds of the rich. There are intellectuals who are poor because they do not want to be exploited by bullies or who do not value the material, the honest hard-working poor who are exploited by the unscrupulous rich, the poor who are rich in spirit. The same applies to the rich, the rich who are in poor in spirit, the unscrupulous rich, etc.


Well said.
GreenBanana
Posted: Friday, November 28, 2014 9:10:24 PM

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Everyone thinks you're not poor enough until you've living on the street where they can't find you or trust you.
Fredric-frank Myers
Posted: Friday, November 28, 2014 10:23:49 PM

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How is one to interpret this quote? But that being said, the quote does give "food for thought".
TB Turtle
Posted: Friday, November 28, 2014 10:28:58 PM

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I agree with Green Banana. To wait for someone to sleep in a cardboard box under a bridge is waiting too long to help.
Wanderer
Posted: Friday, November 28, 2014 11:04:53 PM

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Most of the poor are children, elderly and disabled. I don't know the context of this statement but it stinks.
Verbatim
Posted: Saturday, November 29, 2014 7:01:21 PM
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Daemon wrote:
We are not concerned with the very poor. They are unthinkable, and only to be approached by the statistician or the poet.

E. M. Forster (1879-1970)



The very poor are also approached by the very righteous, the latter not understanding that the former are bereft of "human choice" precisely because
of their heredity and environment.

Odd that this quotation comes right after George Eliot's, singing the praise of the "strongest principle of growth" which
supposedly is a matter of choice for humans. Perhaps heredity and environment represent the "weakest principle of growth", therefore not within human choice.
Barnacle Barney Bill
Posted: Saturday, November 29, 2014 7:25:14 PM

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I also can see the incongruity of the two statements. The sad fact is that most of the people living on this planet do not have any choice but to survive in miserable conditions. They have no good options to choose from.
Romany
Posted: Monday, December 1, 2014 4:20:17 PM
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It seems that a lot of people who are getting indignant with Forster for his quote are not familiar with his work?

He wrote with satire and irony to describe situations of racism, class systems, poverty. His work was very influential and made people face up to these things. He dealt with subjects most people didn't want to think about at that time.

Just as Jonathan Swift wrote "A Modest Proposal" (In which he gives the happy solution of the Irish poor eating their babies) as satire; to express his contempt for those who wouldn't do anything about the Irish Famine: so Forster says the very poor aren't worth thinking about.

Both of them are being deeply sarcastic.

Forster, like Swift, was a champion of the poor, and both of them wrote to cover their rage at how the poor were treated.

(Click on and read the rest of the paragraph - and the next one or two!)
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