Poetry on Warfare - An Analysis

Opening with 'Auspices', an astonishing performance by Susan Mason which straightaway reminds of the African employees performing blues in 19th Hundred years South American coltures, Poets on War clearly focused on the sufferings of warfare and imprisonment from the beginning.

Held on 1st February 2017 at the Southbank Centre, London, within the Poetry Library's special edition, which takes place every first Wednesday of the month, the event was based on the contribution of four modern day poets, Ruth O'Callaghan, Adnan al-Sayegh, Jenny Lewis and Hylda Sims, who tried to look at war with the sentiments of horror, sympathy and humour. Due to a splendid collaboration between the diversity of such poets and their poems and just how they decided to lead them, the function immediately got the hues and the features of the so-called "world literature", moving from London artistically and linguistically for two hours.

Ruth O'Callaghan and some extracts from her collection Vortices (Shoestring, 2015) directed the first part of the evening. Approaching the thought of war and borders between countries and people, Ruth discusses and traces conflicts from bibical times to provide day, raising the thought-provoking representation that war has been an regrettable constant in individual beings' lives and this poetry has implemented it, giving tone of voice to its results and repercussions.

Hotel Owner is the poem that starts the first section and meditates on the idea of the hotel as "a country without restrictions", in which people could feel safe, live and evade the world outdoors. 1914, on the other palm, treats the greater technical part of the battle, accounting for the ways in which slaughters have been perpetrated over record and particularly how "death acquired different ideas in 1914". However, the most interesting details arrived from Meine Liebe Mutter, which outlines the horrors of the battle coming in contact with sensitively and respectfully the theme of son-mother romance on the background of the Second World Warfare. In awareness camps death had become ordinary and Ruth profoundly explains how the prisoners used to confront it: "we never transformed our face against the enemy", as "killing can be an close act". This attractive idea of a connection between sufferer and murderer got a chilling effect on the complete audience: it placed a genuine difficulty in deciding with which part the reader would sympathise. The relation set up is so close but we are still so far from understanding the private, perpetual awareness of death.

At last, before ending along with a singing duet by Susan Mason and Emelia Lederleitnerova, Ruth quoted Tony Blair in his famous 1997 success speech where he claimed that his would have been the first generation ever not going to battle or mailing their children to warfare: as the poet observed after, he didn't make the aspiration previous long, declaring warfare on Talibans in 2001 and offering life to a fresh generation of military and war poets.

The second area of the event remaining space to the recognized Iraqi poet-in-exile Adnan al-Sayegh. Experienced imprisonment through the Iran-Iraq warfare and sentenced to fatality in 1996 for the publication of the poem Uruk's Anthem, Adnan required refuge in Sweden and has been moving into London since 2004. His poetry, translated in a number of languages, is positively political and set against oppression and injustice, demonstrating an powerful passion for freedom, love and beauty. In Poets on Battle, he offered the audience the pleasure to hear his lines recited in Arabic, their original words and then read out loud in translation thanks to the collaboration of Jenny Lewis, copy writer and instructor in poetry at Oxford University.

Adnan transferred the audience into another world: the melodic sound of Arabic was incredibly effective in trasmitting the sufferings and despair of the Iraqi experience and offered the event some powerful originality. Delivering the note in the initial terms, the poet clarified how emotions such as pain and dread are universal and exactly how languages and civilizations become a way to make their acquaitance under different perspectives. Wars have cracked out terribly similarly everywhere and have made people avoid their homelands searching for safer places, damaging lives and young families: if nowhere is immune system to battle, then, as it was remarked in Second Songs to Inanna/Ishtar, "Let poetry be our country".

The Iraqi poet actively shared the level with two wonderful women: Jenny Lewis, who collaborated with him and participated with some poems of hers and Hylda Sims, who elegantly challenged all the skeptics who declare that war can't be approached with any sort of humour. Gripping her electric guitar under her arm, she started out singing her famous Bin Laden:

"Bin Laden's in my own garden

outside Canada Square!

Shall I bring him a cup of tea?

I'm afraid he's surely got to go!"

Making the atmosphere energetic and exciting, Hylda gave a huge contribution to the composition of the function: she offered a new modern view on the theme of conflict by also combining the genre of the track and included the audience in it teaching them her version of Adnan's Sketch to sing, which made the small library look much more familiar. Besides being the elder element of the troop of Poets on War, her tone and tone proved to extremely understanding our times with consciousness, from the medial side of common people.

Introducing her poem 21st Hundred years War, which is very much about the 11th Sept 2001 terroristic episode, Hylda made a salient point about how exactly war continues to be thriving all around us but we aren't always directly alert to it, even though we see its brutal implications: as the event's program mentioned, "The 21st hundred years appears to already have equalled previous hundreds of years for fatality, displacement, terrorism, political misjudgement and religious issue" and we as historical witnesses should keep a much better pace with it.

Overall, designed to be considered a travel in conflict poetry, this reunion of thoughts successfully caught the attention of the audience by mentioning modern day and modern issues and by involving them in an agreeable, accessible musical environment.

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