Poetry on War

There’s something so disturbing, yet divine about death, devastation, and destruction.

If that makes me an evil an twisted sadist, so be it. I’m addicted to war poetry. And in a world that’s addicted to war itself, that’s saying something.

Anything about young soldiers dying before their time, having their lives sucked out through their rifles, and soul-less bodies strewn across no man’s land, is so powerful that it makes me crave more and more. It’s pain, but it’s gratifying. It’s sorrow, but it’s a lesson. It’s proof of what we, as a breed, are capable of, of what I could do to my neighbour if I wanted to.

It’s scary to read Sassoon, Owen, and Tennyson. It’s scary that mere words on paper can bring to life the worst acts of terror we inflict upon this world.

And it’s amusing how even after pulling so many meaningful lives apart, we’re still willing to walk the same path. Every time we raise a weapon, every time we declare war on war, every day since the first boy was killed in action, we’ve been doing the same, wishing for a different outcome.

And even if we do get a different outcome, does it make a difference to the soldiers dreaming of firelit homes and clean beds?

Alas. Thus is the way of the world.


Dreamers

Soldiers are citizens of death’s grey land,

Drawing no dividend from time’s to-morrows.

In the great hour of destiny they stand,

Each with his feuds, and jealousies, and sorrows.

Soldiers are sworn to action; they must win

Some flaming, fatal climax with their lives.

Soldiers are dreamers; when the guns begin

They think of firelit homes, clean beds and wives.

I see them in foul dug-outs, gnawed by rats,

And in the ruined trenches, lashed with rain,

Dreaming of things they did with balls and bats,

And mocked by hopeless longing to regain

Bank-holidays, and picture shows, and spats,

And going to the office in the train.

— Siegfried Sassoon

Of Poetry

I’ve always enjoyed poetry. But I never understood reason, until now.

Poetry is

It’s true, people write in poems things they can’t speak of, things that are too personal, things that make us vulnerable, that make us cringe at ourselves, laugh at our stupidity, and scorn at our vanity.

Every poem is a bitter reminder of the truth we’d rather not hear. Every rhythm and every rhyming couplet — from “black wires grow on her head,” to “The old Lie: dulce et decorum est pro patria mori” — every piece of poetry is a whiplash to humanity.

And maybe it’s necessary, to take that serum once in a while, to hit ourselves with a dose of poetry and question everything we ever stand by.

The Quotable

Sylvia Plath.

There’s something about her, about her writing, about the way she manipulates words that attracts me again and again.

I can never get enough of her writing. There’s something different about her, something that reaches deep into the soul and taps at feelings you didn’t know you had.

Something that grabs at your ego and rattles it so hard that it goes all fuzzy and numb for a while.

There’s something in her writing that speaks to all; to the mischievous rebel, to the wounded heart, and to reincarnated feelings.

But of all her quotable words, for me, there’s one that speaks loudest. The one that rings in my ear, reverberates in my hallow ribcage, and my head, giving me some high.

Sylvia Plath - quote

Being Messy

being messy

Whether you’re sulking about life, complaining about the neighbour’s loud kids, or panting from running away from a street dog, sometimes, one good piece of writing is all you need to calm yourself and see beyond your range of vision.

This poem was one of those. There’s so much to life than being fresh and clean all the time. There’s more than a well-made bed, laundered linen, warm meals, chilled wine, and a comfort zone.

This poem reminded me: There’s life in being messy.

Dirty Face

Where did you get such a dirty face,
My darling dirty-faced child?

I got it from crawling along in the dirt
And biting two buttons off Jeremy’s shirt.
I got it from chewing the roots of a rose
And digging for clams in the yard with my nose.
I got it from peeking into a dark cave
And painting myself like a Navajo brave.
I got it from playing with coal in the bin
And signing my name in cement with my chin.
I got it from rolling around on the rug
And giving the horrible dog a big hug.
I got it from finding a lost silver mine
And eating sweet blackberries right off the vine.
I got it from ice cream and wrestling and tears
And from having more fun than you’ve had in years.

– Shel Silverstein

Being Busy

For some weird reason, we associate busyness with productivity. But being busy has nothing whatsoever to do with productivity. Kierkegaard sure thinks so.

ridiculous - busy