Tag Archives: history

Nostalgia? well perhaps, or maybe . . .

In 2016, I published my poem, Squire and Peasant, https://kmorrispoet.com/2016/05/12/squire-and-peasant/.

The above is one of the poems I am minded to read at a poetry reading on Thursday 4 July. This will be a private event (unfortunately not open to the public), hence I wanted to share this poem here in order that it may be more widely enjoyed.

Kevin

Kevin

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tottering on stilettos

Tottering on stilettos
Girls from ghettos
(And a few middle-class
Girls too) pass
Through lonely doors, and sing a song
That will be around so long
As mankind
Requires? desires?
More than food for his mind.

Did cavemen win
Young women to sin
With fine polished stone?
I own
I do not know
Though I suspect it was so.
And still girls go
Through lonely doors
And are labelled, hoars

A Transhumanist Heard A Clock Tick

A Transhumanist heard a clock tick
And said “time I shall lick”.
And the clock said, “progress,
Regress, progress, regress”,
As the hands did trace
The clock’s round face
From beginning to beginning,
Forever spinning:
“Progress, regress, progress, regress . . .”.
And the Transhumanist said,
Nought, for he was long since dead.

Music for a Dying Civilisation

Music for a dying
Civilisation, followed me along London’s Victoria Street.
Then, lost amidst a myriad hurrying feet,
It’s sighing,
Gradually died away.

At the going down of the sun we shall remember them

One of my earliest recollections of growing up in Liverpool, is of a relative (I called him big granddad or Captain Jim), who had fought and been wounded in World War I. I remember him tapping with the walking stick, which he invariably used, on the fish tank which sat in a corner of my grandfather’s (on my Mother’s side) living room. In later life I learned that he had been (and remained until his death) a member of the Labour Party and that meetings of the local organisation had taken place in his home.

I have no memory of ever having talked with this kind gentleman regarding how he came to walk with a stick but, later in life I learned that he had been wounded in the trenches. I have no idea of what this man had been through (its difficult at this distance in time to comprehend the horror of trench warfare other than by reading the accounts of eye witnesses, the recordings of those who fought in the “Great War” and, of course the poetry of the war poets such as Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon and Rupert Brooke). In retrospect I wish that I had spoken with Captain Jim about his experiences. However I was a small boy so did not do so. Even had I raised the subject, its perfectly possible that he may not have wished to engage with me (or anyone else) on it.

Back in November 2016 I wrote the below poem “Poppy” which is reproduced below:

To those who died that you and me
Might live free.
To those who gave their sweet breath for King and Countrie.
I regret that yesterday
I had no cash to pay
For a poppy deep red
To remember the dead.

I will not know the stench
Of trench
Nor the wrench
Of fear
And pain as spear
Drains the life away.

What can the poet say
Who has never known
The touch of steel against bone?
We die alone
But most will peaceful go
And will not know
The whoa
Of comrades lost,
Nor count the cost
Of bloody strife.
They will not give their life
That others (you and me)
May live free.

Having only my debit card I regret to say
That I could not buy
A blood red
Poppy to remember the dead
As I wended my way
To my nine to five job yesterday”.

 

“Attack” by Siegfried Sassoon, as read by Dame Helen Mirren

A powerful reading by Dame Hellen Mirren of Siegfried Sassoon’s poem “Attack”,

We authors/poets are often exhorted to “show not tell”. Sassoon’s poem does a lot of “telling” and does it extremely effectively. Indeed I am of the firm conviction that many of those who exhort we writers to “show not tell” can not hold a candle to Sassoon.

Kevin

Churchill

A fascinating podcast in which the historian Andrew Roberts discusses his new biography of Winston Churchill, (https://audioboom.com/posts/7039259-churchill-andrew-roberts-in-conversation-with-robert-tombs).

While the conversation between Robert Tombs and Roberts is both interesting and witty, I found the questions posed by members of the audience, following on from the discussion rather more illuminating.

While Roberts is by no means uncritical of Churchill he is (as indeed am I) an admirer of the man who played a pivotal role in saving Europe from Nazi tyranny, and we should all be eternally grateful to Churchill for doing so.