Burnt noggin day down by the canal.
It was the Etruria canal festival this weekend and as we had a good time last year we went again today. The weather started as a usual child typical Saturday, overcast and looking like rain later, but the sun came out just after we had lunch, and promptly cooked us. I usually wear a hat when out but forgot today for some unknown reason, and the sun cream was left on the side. Well prepared we were not.
I took the camera with me but I knew from last year it would really get used tomorrow on the return trip with Spot, specifically to take the photos; and hopefully some usable video. As usual my notebook will be travelling with me for blog inspirations as they happen, and a shirt, and a big hat, maybe some suncream to scare it away, the sun that is, it works in the back garden at home. I am hoping to get some ideas or at least notes for the poetry class here as well.
The creative writing/poetry class was a bust this week, even the lady who runs it failed to show. I did not write a poem, however a shopping list of words connected to my theme has been created, I will continue to work on the construction of a poem from this list as I go on. But not wanting to show up ’empty handed’, as it were, a poem by Wilfred Owen was printed off and take along.
The theme for this week was – a loss of a person, the poem was told to me, and my class, at school by a substitute teacher we had for two weeks. He also told us how clever Hitler was on his use of language and its manipulation of it in his speeches, a theme that seems to be reoccurring these days too.
This is a moving poem, that still has a pattern of rhyming my brain can follow, so here it is – one for every 14 year old…
Dulce et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs,
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.
Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime.—
Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,—
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.
You see in a way this has been locked into my long term memory, a poem that follows a format I can follow, it is about horrific subject matter, but still it follows a known format of rhyming the end words.
The skill of wordsmithing he possessed is awe-inspiring, and although I forgot the poem itself, I never forgot the subject matter and the search for it online was easy. The words may have become distant, but the power of the words have remained with me till this day.
One day I will write a poem or a written piece that will have a lasting effect such as this one, yes the bar is set high; but nobody has said one cannot use a pair of ladders to get over it.