Much as I love songs, I don’t often get poetry. My brain seems suited to a more literal world of data, ‘hard’ evidence and so on. However, I seem to get Carol Ann Duffy. Maybe it’s because she was born in the Gorbals?
This poem commemorates Armistice Day in 1918 and seems worth sharing.
The Wound in Time
It is the wound in Time. The century’s tides,
chanting their bitter psalms, cannot heal it.
Not the war to end all wars; death’s birthing place;
the earth nursing its ticking metal eggs, hatching
new carnage. But how could you know, brave
as belief as you boarded the boats, singing?
The end of God in the poisonous, shrapneled air.
Poetry gargling its own blood. We sense it was love
you gave your world for; the town squares silent,
awaiting their cenotaphs. What happened next?
War. And after that? War. And now? War. War.
History might as well be water, chastising this shore;
for we learn nothing from your endless sacrifice.
Your faces drowning in the pages of the sea.
© Carol Ann Duffy, 2018
Coincidentally there’s a new film with almost the same name:
‘Set in Spanish Harlem and Negra, pressured by a suspicious mother, an amorous co-worker, and a strange bedfellow battles to keep a childhood secret from unraveling while a restless spirit and the African gods of Santeria seek justice.’