Category Archives: Uncategorized

Battle

Qu Yuan (c. 340–278 BC) was a Chinese poet and politician who lived during the Warring States period. He is connected to the supposed origin of the Dragon Boat Festival.
The word Wu in the poem, refers to military genius.

Battle

“We grasp our battle-spears: we don our breast-plates of hide.
The axles of our chariots touch: our short swords meet.
Standards obscure the sun: the foe roll up like clouds.
Arrows fall thick: the warriors press forward.
They menace our ranks: they break our line.
The left-hand trace-horse is dead: the one on the right is smitten.
The fallen horses block our wheels: they impede the yoke-horses!”

They grasp their jade drum-sticks: they beat the sounding drums.
Heaven decrees their fall: the dread Powers are angry.

The warriors are all dead: they lie on the moor-field.
They issued but shall not enter: they went but shall not return.
The plains are flat and wide: the way home is long.
Their swords lie beside them: their black bows, in their hand.

Though their limbs were torn, their hearts could not be repressed.
They were more than brave: they were inspired with the spirit of “Wu.”
Steadfast to the end, they could not be daunted.
Their bodies were stricken, but their souls have taken Immortality-
Captains among the ghosts, heroes among the dead.

Qu Yuan

Isadora Duncan

Poem from the first issue of American socialist magazine The Liberator, March, 1918 written by the editor, Max Eastman.

Isadora Duncan

You bring the fire and terror of the wars
Of running infidels in shining hordes,
With spears like sun-rays, shields and wheeling swords
Flame shape, death shape and shaped like scimitars,
With crimson eagles and blue pennantry,
And teeth and armor flashing, and white eyes
Of battle horses, and the silver cries
Of trumpets unto storm and victory!

Who is this naked-footed lovely girl
Of summer meadows dancing on the grass?
So young and tenderly her footsteps pass,
So dreamy-limbed and lightly wild and warm,
The bugles murmur and the banners furl,
And they are lost and vanished like a storm!

Max Eastman

The History Man

Malcom Bradbury goes Howard Kirk on Julie Burchill in the NME letters page, 7 February, 1981.
If you’ve not read Bradbury’s The History Man, or seen the 1981 TV series: I heartily recommend both.

For Julie Burchill’s information, a value judgement is a statement that cannot be substantiated by an appeal to empirical evidence or established fact. Therefore the vast majority of her Dangerous Visions column is comprised of value judgements since it is merely expressing her own untestable hypotheses. Does that make her a liberal zombie? I think we should be told.

Malcom Bradbury “one of the old halls of learning”, London School of Economics.

Big Policemen

Poem from the first issue of Blackburn zine Fight Back, 1984.

Big Policemen Dressed in Blue

I lie down and I think of things
They revolve inside my head
I lie down and I cry a bit
But now I’m tired, I’ll go to bed
And as I sleep I dream a bit
Of being born and being dead
And slowly I remember
How my childhood started
I remember when I was two
Seeing pictures on the tube
Big Policemen and what they do
If you step outside the boundary line
Flames and fire, Police vans smoking
Petrol-bombs and people burning
Screams and shouts, people choking
I remember when I was two
Seeing these things on the tube
Then I grew up and understood
I began to differentiate
Some people bad others good
Oh! and I thought I understood
But that’s not so, it isn’t true
Big Policemen dressed in blue
You hound me and you beat me up
You shove me in your big blue truck
You drive me off without explanation
You curse me, drive me to damnation
You the Police Force of my nation
You my protector – you my satan
Things that shock, things that startle
But I’ve seen it all before
I lie in my cell my thoughts revolve
I go to sleep you lock the door.

Tabitha