Category: WW1

The Poltroon

Poltroon – the very word is like a … what? a.) A North American mammal of the raccoon family known for its habit of rooting for grubs in the undergrowth of deciduous forests b.) A metal or earthenware pot typically having […] 

The Dancers

The Dancers All day beneath the hurtling shells Before my burning eyes Hover the dainty demoiselles — The peacock dragon-flies. Unceasingly they dart and glance Above the stagnant stream — And I am fighting here in France As in a […] 

The End and the Beginning

    The End and the Beginning After every war someone has to clean up. Things won’t straighten themselves up, after all. Someone has to push the rubble to the side of the road, so the corpse-filled wagons can pass. […] 

Blackbird

Blackbirds are notorious for being able to mimic the sounds they hear as they hop about the celestial chimney pots of suburbia. Ice cream van jingles, phone ring tones, car alarms and ambulance sirens – they can do the lot. […] 

Song of the Dark Ages

Song of the Dark Ages We digged our trenches on the down    Beside old barrows, and the wet White chalk we shovelled from below; It lay like drifts of thawing snow    On parados and parapet: Until a pick […] 

In Parenthesis: Part 1

This writing has to do with some things I saw, felt and was part of. The period covered begins in early December 1915 and ends in July 1916. – David Jones, in the preface to In Parenthesis 1937 In Parenthesis […] 

In Memoriam (Easter, 1915)

In Memoriam (Easter, 1915) The flowers left thick at nightfall in the wood This Eastertide call into mind the men, Now far from home, who, with their sweethearts, should Have gathered them and will do never again.     by […] 

Subway Rush Hour

Subway Rush Hour by Langston Hughes Mingled breath and smell so close mingled black and white so near no room for fear. Hughes published Subway Rush Hour in 1951 part of “Montage of a Dream Deferred”.  In “My Early Days […] 

Art and Treason: War Crimes and Responsibility

The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command. His heart sank as he thought of the enormous power arrayed against him, the ease with which any Party intellectual […] 

Thaw

Thaw by Edward Thomas Over the land freckled with snow half-thawed The speculating rooks at their nests cawed And saw from elm-tops, delicate as flowers of grass, What we below could not see, Winter pass. Thomas wrote all his poetry […] 

Wood on the Downs

Wood On The Downs After Paul Nash by Martin Malone   We have been here before. Uffington, Hackpen, Grim’s Ditch, Ogbourne St.George, Wayland’s Smithy, Sparshott Firs, Bishopstone and Barbury; all the trodden way from Overton to Beacon Hill. Each place […] 

Art and Our Times

How will artists and writers portray this Trumpian time of disillusion, delusion and deception in which we now live? All a poet can do today is warn. That is why the true Poets must be truthful. – Wilfred Owen Perhaps […] 

About Suffering They Were Never Wrong

About suffering they were never wrong, The old Masters: how well they understood Its human position: how it takes place While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;             […] 

Happy New Year 1917

A few images from a century ago to wish everyone the very best for 1917. War is lurking!  This Reading (Pennsylvania) Times cartoon sees the threat of war lurking ahead. The US entered the war in April.  

Treasons Greetings: The Ghosts of Happy Holidays Past

It’s politically incorrect to say Happy Holidays these days. We must all say Merry Christmas. No word on the acceptability of Treasons Greetings so I’ll play it safe and stick to Christmas. Religious freedom – it’s a wonderful thing. Just […] 

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