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Poetry Magnum Opus

The unfolding of evil


dedalus

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I place a warm paternal hand

on the cold ivory skulls

of dead children, gone now

these hundreds of years.

 

It seems so unfair

that children should lose their lives

in war, their parents also,

victims of time and place.

 

The siege of this or that city

in this or that war, a young

inflamed soldiery allowed

to do whatever they like.

 

Such a long history

of drunkenness, fear and cruelty

in so many lands.

 

The Great War opened the doors

of industrial killing: the incessant

pounding of artillery, the poison gas,

machine guns, tanks, flame-throwers ...

 

so that the Holocaust, seen in this way,

was no real departure, simply a new

development perfected over centuries.

Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim

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Brendan.

Some bleak thoughts to conjure with here. Human nature (mankind if you like) being what it is,(and always has been) seems destined to fall, a victim of it's own efficiency. We cannot un-invent the wheel, only fit it with soft tyres and hope to steer it in a peaceful direction. Benjamin

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Technology used for evil? Sure. Man is the same as he always was. Imagine being a contractor bidding on supplying and building the stuff??? "I want to build the gas chamber!" "No! I can do it for less!"

 

Tony

Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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Too polemic, too angry .. the intention took over from the poem. I should have stopped after the middle stanzas, but somehow could not! Apologies, etc., but I'll soon surface with another ... God help us all!! ;)

Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim

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A very good piece, with a big potential to be an amazing prose piece. I loved the subject and I admire your ability for story telling, Bren.

 

Good job, as always.

 

Aleksandra

The poet is a liar who always speaks the truth - Jean Cocteau

History of Macedonia

 

 

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Hi Brendan, This was a hard one to read from the opening stanza, the imagery of which is haunting. It weighs me down and blankets the room in grey. Well written as always but since I have no solution to this depression, I am going to read something lighter now....

 

~~Tink

~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

For permission to use this work you can write to Tinker1111@icloud.com

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I place a warm paternal hand

on the cold ivory skulls

of dead children, gone now

these hundreds of years.

 

It seems so unfair

that children should lose their lives

in war, their parents also,

victims of time and place.

 

The siege of this or that city

in this or that war, a young

inflamed soldiery allowed

to do whatever they like.

 

Such a long history

of drunkenness, fear and cruelty

in so many lands.

 

The Great War opened the doors

of industrial killing: the incessant

pounding of artillery, the poison gas,

machine guns, tanks, flame-throwers ...

 

so that the Holocaust, seen in this way,

was no real departure, simply a new

development perfected over centuries.

 

- - - - - - - - - -

 

This leaves unanswered the intriguing question: What is the speaker doing with children's skulls? There is no need to answer that of course, in the poem, or here.

 

Some notes:

 

in v1 I think "these" is better applied to the dead children rather than to the hundreds of years.

in v2 "their parents also" doesn't fit, feels like a space filler.

in v3 you might add some specific cities or war, feels lazy with "this or that".

in v4 "in so many lands" could be "from ____ (location) to ____ (location). Again, lazy.

in v5 good specifics.

v6 feels a bit too conclusive, too much of an explanation. You might try something that continues the comment rather than tells the reader what to think. This might work:

 

and on it went

to the horror of the Holocaust

a perfection of a sort

in the eyes of madmen

from the black desert

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Thanks for that, Gatekeeper. What do you do when you're not ... emmm, keeping the gate? Have a drink with the lads, write the odd poem .... ? I'd be happy to see it. Get it together and post it!

Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim

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  • 3 weeks later...

A fascinating look into the darkness of our hearts. Especially enjoyed the last few lines. Excellent punch to leave the reader in shock.

GBrenton

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  • 2 weeks later...
rosschandler

very good poem. it has a somber tone which is very affective on me when i read it. i noticed your lines almost achieve an unintended meter. 7 syllables 6 syllables 5 syllables 8 syllables. trimeter or tetrameter. perhaps align all the lines with a similar meter by just adjusting the lines by the additions of an extra word or two. then the entire poem will be very symmetrical with just a few more prepositions interjections here or there....

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