Introduction to War poems
From mid -March to April 2003, I wrote a poem a day (instead of watching or listening to any media about the war beginning in Iraq). And from this beginning I started reading and writing about war, all wars and violence, about phenomena I have no direct experience of, and find, if not inexplicable, very weird. I had already written about the death of my Great Uncle in WW1 and battle sites I had visited from Hastings to My Lae.
I write poems these to investigate, highlight and confront war and violence (from a position of safety) at a time when spending on arms and defence is at historically high levels and more growth is predicted.
I am continually aware that this country is at war in Afghanistan, that young men and women are fighting a ridiculous war, as all wars are, but this one never had an end as a possibility givne teh history of this area. I was in Kabul when the first Soviet troop entered the country and the city was placed under curfew and that was the start of a bloody war which I followed on the news. And here we are in 2013 with violence permeating the planet:
War and conflict (as of NOW; www.warsintheworld.com)
Asia 15 countries and 101 armed conflicts
Africa 24 countries and 115 conflicts
Europe 8 countries and 61conflicts
Middle East 8 countries and 94 conflicts
Americas 5 countries and 25 conflicts.