Photo Image: Davy D
Imagine, if the poem you are writing now was to be the last one you ever wrote.
This is a thought playing on my mind after finishing an excellent book, “Where Poppies Blow – The British Soldier, Nature, The Great War” by John Lewis-Stempel. I have brought this thought and the book to the Go Dog Go Treetop Café to ponder over a cup of tea.
Where Poppies Blow is not a collection of poetry per se, but a record of British soldier’s experiences in the First World War, provided by letters and poetry they wrote during the period. Against a background of carnage and destruction, the book portrays how the soldiers were still able to find beauty in nature and the animals they encountered in the battlefields.
From the splendour of the Skylark, set against an early morning sunrise, to their relationship with the horses and dogs following them into battle, the archive of writing shows that even in the darkest situations there is still a glimpse of hope and poetry to be found.
For many of the soldiers the letters and poetry were the last things they ever wrote and, with what they were experiencing around them, death was probably at the forefront of their mind.
Earlier in the week I read an interview with writer and poet Gina Gallyot by Mandibelle 16. One of the things jumping out at me from the interview was part of Gina’s response to one of the questions, “but write as if it is the last essay or poem you will ever get to write.”
Together, the book and the interview do make me mindful, one day, the poem I am writing may be my last. In a positive way they are reminders to continue to immerse myself in the writing experience.
So, from this week’s hangout I leave you with a wonderful book and the thought that life can be fleeting; enjoy each breath and write like it was the last thing you may ever write.
What are your thoughts on this? The teas are on me.