stdClass Object
(
    [ID] => 136
    [post_author] => 2
    [post_date] => 2014-11-07 11:42:05
    [post_date_gmt] => 2014-11-07 11:42:05
    [post_content] => It is midday, and finally
The fire has stopped falling.
I expect it looks pretty
From 60 miles away.
Here, it looks like anything
But a city.

When the burning gave way
To ash pastures and gutted houses
We went looking for leftovers.
We found them in cellars
Packed tight
Carbon charred
But still recognisable.

Some of us burned.
Some of us drowned.
Some of us fell,
Onto hot stinging roads
Air stolen by flames.
Some of us were left
To sift through the remains.

We found so many
That it took weeks
To turn them all
To ash.
    [post_title] => The Seventh Largest City in Germany
    [post_excerpt] => 
    [post_status] => publish
    [comment_status] => closed
    [ping_status] => closed
    [post_password] => 
    [post_name] => the-seventh-largest-city-in-germany
    [to_ping] => 
    [pinged] => 
    [post_modified] => 2016-09-13 14:49:30
    [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-09-13 14:49:30
    [post_content_filtered] => 
    [post_parent] => 0
    [guid] => http://poetrysociety.org.uk.gridhosted.co.uk/?post_type=poems&p=136
    [menu_order] => 0
    [post_type] => poems
    [post_mime_type] => 
    [comment_count] => 0
    [filter] => raw
    [meta_data] => stdClass Object
        (
            [wpcf-published-in] => 
            [wpcf-date-published] => 2014
            [wpcf-summary-description] => Nat says of his poem: “This poem is a response to the life and poetry of Timothy Corsellis, and the theme of transitions. Like ‘Dawn After the Raid’, I decided I would write about a bombed city, and the transition from a city to something less than a city, broken and sad. However, since I was not writing from experience of the war, I saw no reason to limit my writing to describing the blitz, or bombing in England. Perhaps due to a slight discomfort at the idea of patriotism and national solidarity, I thought it might be nice to write about a bombing perpetrated by “us” against “them”, rather than vice versa. I hoped this might also emphasise that it was not side or the other that I was interested in, but rather the horrific idea of people, even normal civilians, being viewed as potential military gains, and not as persons. Once I had decided to write about a foreign bombing, it was rather an obvious choice to pick one of the most famously terrible raids the war saw – the bombing of Dresden. I found a rather chilling quote from Harris, the leader of bombing command at the time, that he did not think “the whole of the remaining cities of Germany as worth the bones of one British Grenadier”. This idea of placing a finite worth on human life, that may be lowered or raised according to whose side one is on, I find appalling. To attempt to convey a feeling of this transition from person to strategic gain, I avoided referring to the victims directly though out the poem, trying to give a sense of the humanity having been entirely erased, buried somewhere underneath the rubble.

It takes the length of the entire poem for the transition from city to ash to be completed. By the end of this, I hoped the narrator would sound as if he too had given in to viewing the victims as less than human, out of necessity. This transformation, which Timothy prays for in the 6th stanza of ‘Dawn After the Raid’, does spare pain – but also causes an emptiness in the narration, a resignation to the horror of it all.”
            [wpcf-rights-information] => 
            [wpcf-poem-award] => Winner, Timothy Corsellis Prize 2014
            [wpcf_pr_belongs] => 
        )

    [poet_data] => stdClass Object
        (
            [ID] => 137
            [forename] => 
            [surname] => 
            [title] => Nat Norland
            [slug] => nat-norland
            [content] => Nat is a winner in the 2016 Behind the Curtain poetry challenge on Young Poets Network, in partnership with the V&A Museum. He also won the Poetry Society's inaugural Timothy Corsellis Prize, for poems from 14-25 year olds responding to WWII poetry. Judges from the War Poets Association, Imperial War Museums and the Poetry Society chose Nat's poem from hundreds of entries. He is also a 2014 winner of the Cape Farewell/Young Poets Network competition to produce poems in response to climate change.
        )

)
stdClass Object
(
    [ID] => 137
    [forename] => 
    [surname] => 
    [title] => Nat Norland
    [slug] => nat-norland
    [content] => Nat is a winner in the 2016 Behind the Curtain poetry challenge on Young Poets Network, in partnership with the V&A Museum. He also won the Poetry Society's inaugural Timothy Corsellis Prize, for poems from 14-25 year olds responding to WWII poetry. Judges from the War Poets Association, Imperial War Museums and the Poetry Society chose Nat's poem from hundreds of entries. He is also a 2014 winner of the Cape Farewell/Young Poets Network competition to produce poems in response to climate change.
)

The Seventh Largest City in Germany

Nat Norland

It is midday, and finally
The fire has stopped falling.
I expect it looks pretty
From 60 miles away.
Here, it looks like anything
But a city.

When the burning gave way
To ash pastures and gutted houses
We went looking for leftovers.
We found them in cellars
Packed tight
Carbon charred
But still recognisable.

Some of us burned.
Some of us drowned.
Some of us fell,
Onto hot stinging roads
Air stolen by flames.
Some of us were left
To sift through the remains.

We found so many
That it took weeks
To turn them all
To ash.