Joan was a poet as well as a diarist. Two days after Pearl Harbor was bombed, Joan wrote this poem at age 18. She loved Homer and the Iliad, and frequently saw the political events around her in terms of the history of the past, particularly the destruction of Troy.
Dec 9 – 1941
Now it is come we are as calm as we have never been
We drink our coffee with still hands
And with grave eyes ask what is trump
Or whose lead now and carefully repair our rouge.
And read the Tribune and Thomas Aquinas
With equal imperturbability.
Once we were shifted by the sound of words
By great black headlines, by the screaming boy.
Now we are calm as we were calm in Troy
We are as silly as we ever were
But now our silliness is bravery
We are so shallow that the dying of a world
Cannot break through our consciousness
Or are so deep that it cannot.
That which we never quite believed has happened
And we touch inanely hands that never reach
And lie down to die with dignity.
We are as calm as we were calm in Troy.