It’s been a rather busy couple of weeks. I packed up all my stuff, which is now in various states of storage between London, Brighton and Plymouth. Christmas is more or less done and dusted. I finished my job and am staying at my parents for 3 weeks before the big trip – 4 months travelling round South East Asia, Australia and New Zealand which starts in mid January.
I’ve got a few trip-related things to organise (visas, money, insurance, buying equipment, er…planning my route) but I’m hoping to get in a little writing and painting in this 3 weeks. I got some nice new art supplies for xmas: a table-top easel, brushes, a travel watercolour set etc…
I also bought myself the present of Scars Upon my Heart, an anthology of women’s poetry from the First World War. Women’s poetry isn’t very well known from this period – certainly I’d only seen a couple of these poems before – but as the book states “This anthology of women war poets will come as a surprise to many, as it shows, for example that women were writing protest poetry before Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sasson, and that the view of ‘the women at home’, ignorant and idealistic, was quite false. Many of these poems come out of direct experiences of nursing the victims of trench warfare, or the pain of loves, brothers, sons, lost.”
It’s a very interesting, and moving, book and it’ll take me a while to fully digest. I wanted to share a verse from one. This poem by Elizabeth Daryush relates to the experience after the war, which is one of the central themes of my novel.
She said to one: ‘How light
Must be your freed heart now,
After the heavy fight!’
He said: ‘Well, I don’t know…
The war gave one a shake,
Somehow, knocked one awake…
Now, life’s so deadly slow.’