Thursday, December 06, 2007


I just discovered, quite by accident, that a poem of mine is on the Canadian Poets Against War site. I sent it in to them sometime last summer -- and I guess they published it without informing me. Looking at its placement on their list, I can only imagine it's been there for some time. Funny, I wrote this one 'way back in the early '80s, but did some minor edits just before submitting it. (Never too late to edit. I'll probably be editing on my death bed.) Curious thing is, I vividly remember writing it -- in a cafe beside Pages Books on Queen St. in Toronto. It was written in response to news coverage I had just seen of the Iran-Iraq war.

4 comments:

R. W. Watkins said...

You know what, Brian? I just realised something: In over 20 years of versifying, I don't think I've ever written a single antiwar poem. I guess I'm just too much of a brute. It's rather difficult to write sneering, revolutionary put-downs of one's own government (sometimes referencing assassination) and then write antiwar poems without feeling like a bit of a hypocrite.

Brian Campbell said...

Is this poem explicitly anti-war? Poets have been war fodder; but then, war is poetry fodder. I wouldn't have come up with these arresting images otherwise. Maybe I tricked them (the editors, I mean -- although you could say I "tricked" the images too).

admin PAW said...

Anti-war poems come in all shapes and sizes, some more subtle than others. Some on www.poetsagainstwar.ca are not clearly anti-war at all, eg. Rob Read's "I'm looking forward" or Sunil Ranasinghe's "The Killer". The only inconsistency between sneering relovutionary (sic) put-downs and anti-war poetry is that the former are incendiary. Poetry is a non-violent way to fight fire with fire.

If we didn't notify you that your poem was posted Brian, it's because we do not collect return e-addresses from contributors. Some offer them, and they are useful where editing is necessary, or where a question has been asked.

Best wishes

Brian Campbell said...

I'm glad you appreciate subtlety.