Monday, 29 September 2008

Poetry for war artists

War Artist

Artist and nature form
the ultimate
intricate unit
with origin rooted
deep in the earth
and brought to life
in the field
with brown casein
and a scoop of stream
in a rusty soup can.

Note the heightened colour
of the boy
with the horse
and the plough
now ploughing the earth
beyond the tank tracks
when you consider
your best hog bristle
loaded full with ochre.

c-2008 Gwilym Williams

The above was written on attending an Albin Egger-Lienz exhibition. Egger-Lienz was an Austrian WWI war artist who painted with great integrity the scenes in the Alps; the bloody fighting between the Austrians and the Italians. He refused to glorify war in paintings. He was shunned on his return to Austria and went to live in Italy.


  1. a scoop of stream in a rusty soup can - terrific!!!
    and I feel the plough of his brush through that ochre

  2. like wilfred owen's poem with the mustrad gas - you almost see the green swirling mist


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