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Bad News

A morning to freeze the spirits.

As they shiver in hollowed times,
Workers stamp and spit used breath.

At the corner I see two men:

Their eyes wet from today’s bad news.

‘You can always tell,’ says my guide;

'They both had sons where it happened.'

I try to do an interview:

Get short shrift. Understandably.

As we leave, one of them calls out:

‘Poetry is dead. Art is dead.’

You want to reply it’s not true,

That there is hope, there is beauty.

But here, at this time, nothing lives.


◄ Queues

Too Late? ►


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Stephen Gospage

Fri 9th Feb 2024 17:18

Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Carlton. Like you, I am often concerning about the way disasters and suffering are covered. I understand the need to show the extent of the trauma to the public, but there is a sense that grieving people are being used for entertainment. I would also agree that we should respect the views of those suffering and not try to make an issue of it.

And thanks to Stephen A, Holden, Rob, Steve and Manish for liking this one.

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David RL Moore

Thu 8th Feb 2024 08:58

I agree and disagree with parts of your poem.

Art is subjective but sometimes as you describe it feels intrusive and irrelevent.

People speak of things in the strangest terms sometimes. I recently rewatched the documentary "Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse" about the making of "Apocalypse Now" There is a section in it where Coppola's wife speaks in terms of the beauty of the scene in which a Water Buffalo is slaughtered, she speaks like a colonial fool romantacising the perceived mystical practices of a savage culture, completely disregarding the horror and suffering portrayed in the scene.

Sometimes our intrusive coverage of suffering feels and looks like that to me. I have the misfortune of knowing what it feels like to be such an observer, to be despised and cursed when the intention of your presence is to help.

Periodically art is dead to some, rarely forever. In their moments of despair (as you suggest) I would be inclined to agree with the accusation of the sufferer and not argue the point.

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