I just don’t know why, but ‘war’ has always been a topic of great interest to me. Particularly war poetry. Soul sucking words detailing gut wrenching moments – I could dwell all day in it.
Here in this blog, I’ve already registered my thoughts about the futility of war as told in one of my favourite war poems “Dulce et decorum est” by Wilfred Owen.
When I wonder why I enjoy war poetry so much, I can only draw the conclusion that I adore warriors. I have always thought of the idea of fighting for one’s country as an honour and pleasure. I guess these poems are repeatedly proving me false. Maybe that’s why I like them so; because they have opened my eyes to reality. ‘Opened my eyes’ in the sense, not in a gentle way as teaching an over-excited toddler, but ruthlessly bringing out how much of wrong doing the process of war includes.
I still remember those days when I was just another girl, stuffed with glorious fancies about soldiers and the concept of war. I looked up to it as a holy sacrifice; something soldiers take up on themselves and still not brag about it. I held that sacrifice as holiness, because that’s how movies portrayed it. We are bound only to pity soldiers and not to stand up to the injustice they’ve been thrust into. I realized, in the hard way, that it’s nothing more than a mass suicidal charge.
One of the first war poems that affected me greatly was “Charge of the Light Brigade”; thoughts of Lord Tennyson. It was the truth and the matter-of-fact tone that got to me. It hit me hard on the head saying, “Here’s the truth, fool!”. It gave me a whole new perspective. Indeed truth it was, I learnt later from Wilfred Owen’s “Anthem for Doomed Youth”.
Knowing all these, have changed my conventional view of Army and soldiers. I still respect the Armed Forces for all they do and for the courage to wear that uniform despite knowing well that it’s sure and ugly death. But, that I do not approve of war is still intact in my heart growing steadily and it’s largely due to the understanding of the destruction war brings on families of soldiers; understanding gained from a soldier was passionate with words and died in the First World War.