Monday, 11 February 2013

Working Party

Danse Macabre by Albin Egger-Lienz (1868-1926)

Danse Macabre - detail

Working Party

To the front

with your spade

and orders

to dig

  a trench

a grave

  and a latrine

. . .

there is the way . . .

. . .  to the War  Machine


The Austrian artist Albin Egger-Lienz was delegated to capture the so-called heroic action scenes of the Austria-Italy conflict in the Alps during World War I. The paintings he produced were not what the establishment or the people of his home town expected. He was subsequently made unwelcome in Austria. He spent his later years in the town of Bolzano in the  Italian Dolomites.

I have written three other poems concerning this artist. They are: "War Artist", "Ants, Austria 1914" and "The Nameless". You can find them by entering "Albin Egger-Lienz" in the blog search box.


  1. Somehow, I think everyone had a different attitude to war in those days Gwil - or maybe we were more easily brainwashed.

  2. I think basic problem is still there in many parts of the world. It only needs a spark and people, given the opportunity, will rush to take sides in their conflict of choice.

  3. I like the way in the painting the bones and the implements are joined like levers in a machine.


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