02 February 2008

Still alive

I remembered/rediscovered today that if I make sure music is playing, Lucy is a lot more content to be in her swing, giving me both time to unpack, and also time to knit.

I still haven't taken pictures of what I've been working on, though, so I won't bore you. Tomorrow. Perhaps tomorrow.

Meantime, if you'd like to be able to see my photographs of her, comment with your email; Phanfare changed how they're doing things, so now you need to be "connected" to me in order to view my Lucy-and-knitting pictures on Phanfare. I'll still post things here, of course.

And, finally -- the beast is stirring, and she is hungry -- an offering for Silent Poetry Reading:

THESE were our children who died for our lands: they were dear in our sight.
We have only the memory left of their home-treasured sayings and laughter.
The price of our loss shall be paid to our hands, not another’s hereafter.
Neither the Alien nor Priest shall decide on it. That is our right.
But who shall return us the children ?

At the hour the Barbarian chose to disclose his pretences,
And raged against Man, they engaged, on the breasts that they bared for us,
The first felon-stroke of the sword he had long-time prepared for us—
Their bodies were all our defense while we wrought our defenses.

They bought us anew with their blood, forbearing to blame us,
Those hours which we had not made good when the judgment o'ercame us.
They believed us and perished for it. Our statecraft, our learning
Delivered them bound to the Pit and alive to the burning
Whither they mirthfully hastened as jostling for honour—
Not since her birth has our Earth seen such worth loosed upon her.

Nor was their agony brief, or once only imposed on them.
The wounded, the war-spent, the sick received no exemption
Being cured they returned and endured and achieved our redemption,
Hopeless themselves of relief, till Death, marvelling, closed on them.

That flesh we had nursed from the first in all cleanness was given
To corruption unveiled and assailed by the malice of Heaven—
By the heart-shaking jests of Decay where it lolled on the wires—
To be blanched or gay-painted by fumes—to be cindered by fires—
To be senselessly tossed and retossed in stale mutilation
From crater to crater. For this we shall take expiation.
But who shall return us our children ?

--Rudyard Kipling

According to the story, this was written upon hearing of the Armistice between England and Germany in the First World War. Kipling's son died late in the war; especially awful because John was classified 4F, but Kipling pulled strings to get him in.

1 comment:

AlisonH said...

Wow. That is intense. And is still needed to be read and heard (and was not).