Quote-of-the-Month author: Austrian Foreign Ministry

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Crystal Night - 75 years on




"Someday we'll look back on all this, laugh
nervously and change the subject" (anon)

The Joker


 after
all

the passing of years

the 
witness
now 
states


and the listener 
now hears 

the  gaps

and the other  odd   s
paces


 when memory fades 
to recall

 the heron-thin men 


and the chosen 
thin men 


of 

 the hardest of times



when it didn't go well

(and again the next time 

it will not

for who are the victims 


when silence is truth


 a shattering of glass
and a thud


as now it's recalled) 

,
small shards of hope  -
clearly gone


no work 
for clear heads 
or clean hands. 

. . . . just ongoing bluff


an historical lack of honest round tables

an
historical
stack 
of
tabus 

?who's laughing now 


a Joker


is named:




and it's 

Hubris


6 comments:

  1. I don't really get this at all. However I like Robert Crumb and I know about the night of the crystal glass. A old woman cheered when she saw the shopkeeper's window smashed and she was struck down and killed by a shard of glass. I liked that bit.

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  2. It explores the nature Hubris which Dominic Rivron brought up in a reply to one of the recent posts the the 75th anniversary of 1938 and which word is included the title of Ian Kershaw's masterful work 'Hitler 1889 - 1936 Hubris' . Hubris along with soft reporting is the Joker we must deal with and it may be because we are unable to face the plain truth about ourselves that we are at our root and base just insane monsters and so we constantly do horrible things to each other and to our planet.

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  3. Thanks for the explanation. I would never have got there. Insane monsters patting ourselves on the back.

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  4. I was watching the film Francis Bacon where he's interviewed by Melvyn Bragg on UBU Film (last link on my A-Z Links) last night and I was struck by the number of things he said about his paintings that I thought applied to poetry too. About how for instance the paintings turn in on themselves and why they are as they are and I think this poem is an example because when we're going to write about Crystal Night as it is generally called it's not enough just to write about it but the text itself must be broken up into fragments, some large and some small, and the Hubris of the whole business gloriously written but underneath the broken shards of poetry. Somebody said there can be no poetry after Auschwitz but I disagree vehemently and I take the opposite view that not only can there be poetry but that there must be poetry.

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  5. Theodore Adorno "After Auschwitz to write a poem is barbaric" page 22 of my BA dissertation on Joseph Beuys. (I never thought I would be remembering this and then it suddenly came back to me when I read your comment).
    Yes, and Kurt Vonnegut said of writing as you say of poetry.

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  6. Entering 'Vonnegut' in the blog search box will bring up 3 posts, not Vonnegut but you can say in the spirit of Vonnegut.

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