stdClass Object
(
    [ID] => 16239
    [post_author] => 16
    [post_date] => 2015-10-09 17:08:40
    [post_date_gmt] => 2015-10-09 17:08:40
    [post_content] => ‘A shadow is a man 
when the mosquito death approaches.’

it is impossible to breathe
underwater
yet somehow
i grow gills drinking
all this rain;
it listens to
our thoughts,
unspoken,
our child under the
dinner table. we
glue our
fingers round triggers
with cold sticky
air
and dead birds
that cannot
even survive
here.
there are no scrabble word to describe this war.

wet
beetled
earth
closes over my tongue,
but i cannot swallow it down,
it must hide the body
beneath
raw gums. the short german
child, uniform
of chewed flesh, who
translated his fear
in moon mud rasps, the child who
i put lids over
blue pan eyes,
who hours later could
have
planted seeds
of stille nacht
in my
eardrums.
the prophet who said this would be over by christmas
has probably been shot.
    [post_title] => untitled death, untitled war
    [post_excerpt] => 
    [post_status] => publish
    [comment_status] => closed
    [ping_status] => closed
    [post_password] => 
    [post_name] => untitled-death-untitled-war
    [to_ping] => 
    [pinged] => 
    [post_modified] => 2018-10-17 10:46:05
    [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-10-17 10:46:05
    [post_content_filtered] => 
    [post_parent] => 0
    [guid] => http://poetrysociety.org.uk/?post_type=poems&p=16239
    [menu_order] => 0
    [post_type] => poems
    [post_mime_type] => 
    [comment_count] => 0
    [filter] => raw
    [meta_data] => stdClass Object
        (
            [wpcf-published-in] => 
            [wpcf-date-published] => 2015
            [wpcf-summary-description] => This poem was commended in the Timothy Corsellis Prize on Young Poets Network (YPN) in 2015.

Lucy says of her poem: I wrote this poem inspired by the war poet Keith Douglas, particularly a line in his poem ‘How to Kill’: ‘A shadow is a man when the mosquito death approaches.’ What fascinated me was Douglas’ detached style, this break away from emotion- ‘the soldier who is going to die’: and it made me realise the way I think war changed soldiers most. For their first time killing, being injured, or seeing others being killed, it was a profound shock to soldiers, and the continued shell-fire would eventually lead to the psychological disorder ‘shell-shock’ for many – because they were not always catching glances of death, they were constantly staring it in the face. Slowly, they had to accept facts to move on, they had to see everything about the war in terms of statements or numbers; if they wanted to survive or return home to family they had to leave all feeling or emotion behind. Contrasting to the very first few people they would see being killed, now they buried all their feeling, and this led many writing styles to become very matter-of-fact – seen in Douglas’ haunting observation ‘how easy it is to make a ghost.’
I wanted to replicate this idea of lack of emotion or confusion of it, by not being able to put a word to how a soldier feels as he sees the soldier he has killed – someone he should despise – hence the title: untitled death, untitled war. The narrator tries to hide the man he has killed, figuratively behind his mouth, as if it can stop everything he wants to say or feel coming out. I described the soldiers as children as Douglas often reflected: ‘a child turning into man’, and how simple it was to take away a life; how easy it was to take away everything that could have happened: as easy as putting ‘lids over pans’; ‘the mosquito death’ that Douglas wrote about.
This war is remembered for humanity acting inhumanely, and what I wanted this poem to convey was that without emotion, how can we act as humans? Without emotion, we cannot put words with meaning to anything; without emotion, there can be no title.
            [wpcf-rights-information] => 
            [wpcf-poem-award] => Commended, Timothy Corsellis Prize 2015
            [wpcf_pr_belongs] => 
        )

    [poet_data] => stdClass Object
        (
            [ID] => 16366
            [forename] => 
            [surname] => 
            [title] => Lucy Thynne
            [slug] => lucy-thynne
            [content] => Lucy Thynne is a top 15 winner of the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2016, 2017 and 2018. She is also second-prize winner in the 2018 August challenge #1 on prose poetry on Young Poets Network and a winner in the 2016 Behind the Curtain poetry challenge on Young Poets Network, in partnership with the V&A Museum. She is a winner in the 2015 Young Poets Network Christina Broom and the Suffragettes writing challenge, was commended in the Timothy Corsellis Prize 2015 and the Young Poets Network Festive Feasts, Eve of St Agnes Challenge, and won the BBC Proms Poetry Competition junior category in 2016.
        )

)
stdClass Object
(
    [ID] => 16366
    [forename] => 
    [surname] => 
    [title] => Lucy Thynne
    [slug] => lucy-thynne
    [content] => Lucy Thynne is a top 15 winner of the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2016, 2017 and 2018. She is also second-prize winner in the 2018 August challenge #1 on prose poetry on Young Poets Network and a winner in the 2016 Behind the Curtain poetry challenge on Young Poets Network, in partnership with the V&A Museum. She is a winner in the 2015 Young Poets Network Christina Broom and the Suffragettes writing challenge, was commended in the Timothy Corsellis Prize 2015 and the Young Poets Network Festive Feasts, Eve of St Agnes Challenge, and won the BBC Proms Poetry Competition junior category in 2016.
)

untitled death, untitled war

Lucy Thynne

‘A shadow is a man
when the mosquito death approaches.’

it is impossible to breathe
underwater
yet somehow
i grow gills drinking
all this rain;
it listens to
our thoughts,
unspoken,
our child under the
dinner table. we
glue our
fingers round triggers
with cold sticky
air
and dead birds
that cannot
even survive
here.
there are no scrabble word to describe this war.

wet
beetled
earth
closes over my tongue,
but i cannot swallow it down,
it must hide the body
beneath
raw gums. the short german
child, uniform
of chewed flesh, who
translated his fear
in moon mud rasps, the child who
i put lids over
blue pan eyes,
who hours later could
have
planted seeds
of stille nacht
in my
eardrums.
the prophet who said this would be over by christmas
has probably been shot.