Sunday, 8 November 2015

Writing - Remembrance Day

I was surprised to find out that the Remembrance Day poem - 'For the Fallen' was somewhat undersold.

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For the Fallen

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

The first fact I discovered was that the poem from which this verse originates is just one of 7 stanzas.

Then I discovered that the author's name is frequently misquoted. It was written by Laurence Binyon.

I also discovered that the poem was written very soon after WWI 
began. 

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Assassination of Franz Ferdinand

The incident that supposedly sparked the conflict was the assassination of Grand Duke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo on June 28th 1914. However, it was August 1st when Germany declared war on Russia.

The poem was first published in the Times newspaper on September 21st 1914. 

The poem was written on the cliffs at Pentire Point in Cornwall 

shortly after the British Expeditionary Force had suffered 

casualties following its first encounter with the Imperial German 

Army at the Battle of Mons on August 23rd. 


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Laurence Binyon


Binyon states that the words from the 4th stanza came to him first and it is those four lines that were adopted by the Royal British Legion as an Exhortation for remembrance ceremonies.

Another example of an emotional response to a stimulus and quite a rapid response. When I write poetry it also tends to be a rapid response and I believe that is perfectly natural.

Emotion is an immediate influence on behaviours and elicits quick responses. I believe that is why I find writing poetry satisfying in the short term. It is also why when I write poetry for my weekly blog that it can be quite difficult. 

Writing anything can be difficult at times but writing poetry on a specific subject without the emotional driver engaged is almost impossible. I'm not referring to writers' block, I believe that is something to do with commercial drivers, but rather the engagement of the writing gene.

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Writing Gene

God Bless