Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I'm a Thief.

I enjoyed reading this so much this morning, that I stole it off of Tim's blog.

“Five Ways to Kill a Man” by Edwin Brock

(apologies for the lack of formatting. It’s formatted where I enter it, but not coming up on the site…)

*There are many cumbersome ways to kill a man. You can make him carry a plank of wood to the top of a hill and nail him to it. To do this properly you require a crowd of people wearing sandals, a cock that crows, a cloak to dissect, a sponge, some vinegar and one man to hammer the nails home.

Or you can take a length of steel, shaped and chased in a traditional way, and attempt to pierce the metal cage he wears. But for this you need white horses, English trees, men with bows and arrows, at least two flags, a prince, and a castle to hold your banquet in.

Dispensing with nobility, you may, if the wind allows, blow gas at him. But then you need a mile of mud sliced through with ditches, not to mention black boots, bomb craters, more mud, a plague of rats, a dozen songs and some round hats made of steel.

In an age of aeroplanes, you may fly miles above your victim and dispose of him by pressing one small switch. All you then require is an ocean to separate you, two systems of government, a nation’s scientists, several factories, a psychopath and land that no-one needs for several years.

These are, as I began, cumbersome ways to kill a man. Simpler, direct, and much more neat is to see that he is living somewhere in the middle of the twentieth century, and leave him there.*

What do you think? What’s in the last stanza? Is it implying that we have the freedom & opportunity to look back at 2000+ years of brutal history & yet we don’t learn? Or is it pointing to unparalleled dangers in a modern society? Either way, it’s a beautifully written poem!

1 comment:

Tim G said...

Since I was plagiarising from from the poet himself, far be it for me to complain when relative blog-royalty chooses to pick up my stolen work!

Of course, if I manage to find a steal-worthy poem every week, I'll be going well!