Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Martyrdom / Witness







You can't win, Darth. If you strike me down, I shall become 
more powerful than you could possibly imagine. 



From the 2014 film Selma

Midweek Motif ~ 
Martyrdom / Witness

Here's a very surprising fact! It surprised me, anyway, and led to this prompt.  According to Wikipedia: 
In its original meaning, the word martyr, meaning witness, was used in the secular sphere as well as in the New Testament of the Bible.[1] The process of bearing witness was not intended to lead to the death of the witness . . . .

Your Challenge:  Perhaps you have witnessed or experienced witness that needs a poem? 
Write a new poem for this prompt, letting the tone of the poem reveal your positive or negative feelings about martyrdom and/or witness. 

From the Gallery of 20th Century Martyrs at Westminster Abbey—l. to r.Mother Elizabeth of Russia, Rev. Martin Luther King, Archbishop Oscar Romero and Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer



The Martyr

BY HERMAN MELVILLE
Indicative of the passion of the people
on the 15th of April, 1865
Good Friday was the day
    Of the prodigy and crime,
When they killed him in his pity,
    When they killed him in his prime
Of clemency and calm—
         When with yearning he was filled
         To redeem the evil-willed,
And, though conqueror, be kind;
    But they killed him in his kindness,
    In their madness and their blindness,
And they killed him from behind.
              There is sobbing of the strong,
                   And a pall upon the land;
              But the People in their weeping
                                    Bare the iron hand:
              Beware the People weeping
                   When they bare the iron hand.
. . . . (Read the rest HERE at The Poetry Foundation.)



was it so I could
never say
across a courtroom
that man, the one
standing there

was it so you could
walk among us again
after
as if you had shed
the body that did
those things

was it because you could
not bear
my pupils so huge
they would have swallowed you
my whites like flayed kneecaps

when you pressed down
to singe them back
into my skull they were softer
than you expected
you had thought them
diamond hard
weapons turned on you

was it so you could
imagine a time
when you would be human
again among humans
that you had to leave
some of us
alive?

Source: Poetry (March 2014).
Used by Permission



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Please share your new poem using Mr. Linky below 
and visit others in the spirit of the community.

(Next week, Sumana's Midweek Motif will be A Flower Was Offered to Me. )

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42 comments:

  1. Thank you for the prompt - the surprising fact is indeed that...it's a shame it's not 'heard' more in the wider world..

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  2. Hey everyone,

    Wooooo hooooo its time for Midweek motif :D sharing my poem on "Martyrdom" hope you all like it. Thank you so much Susan for this wonderful opportunity.


    Lots of love,
    Sanaa

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    1. Thank you, Sanaa, for your bright presence!

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  3. Hey! On this rainy grey day I slept through breakfast AND worship! I'll be teased at lunch ... but I'm glad to be with you today

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  4. Thanks for the prompt. I've taken it elsewhere once again... Call it poetic licence :-)

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    1. I love that you let the prompt carry you beyond expectations.

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  5. wonderful prompt as always Susan....

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    1. Thank you. Looking forward to yours as well.

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  6. Hi kids, I am struggling with computer problems that are driving me mad.......will try to return later today if I get things sorted out. Will make the rounds on my tablet as I am able......argh.

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    1. I wish I could fix that for you, but all I can say is we'll see you when you get here. Please don't worry.

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  7. Marcoantonio,
    Did you mean to link "the calm after a storm"? Let me know and I will link it for you as neither of the above links get us there.

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  8. This was a challenging, but rewarding prompt. Thank you Susan.

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    1. Thank you, Myrna, that makes me happy.

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  9. Hoping to lay to rest, a ghost from my past. Dad, I forgive you, for your actions, on that day, in May 1996.

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    1. This is a fine use of poetry, to let it witness your witness. I hope the ghost is resting.

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  10. I get a regular magazine called voice of the martyrs. The media does not like to cover stories about people who are dying for their beliefs.
    This was a challenge indeed. I wrote one direction and then went another.

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    1. You may have several poems in you on this topic, Leslie. Thanks for writing a new one for my prompt!

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  11. Hello Susan, friends! This is great theme I did already ponder about in my Tarot dedicated poem: http://humbirdstar.blogspot.com/2016/02/preface.html. Today it is more the collaboration with a music and glory which we can find, when trying to embrace the both sides of us...

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    1. I tried the link, but I couldn't get it to work. I'd like to reread the Tarot-dedicated poem as well as today's.

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  12. Thank you, Susan! I'll be along to read but I need to feed my family first... :)

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  13. Thank you Susan for this appropriate motif as we get near Easter and its celebrations! Happy Season of Lent to all who know it. And Happy Upcoming Spring to everyone else! or Summer/Winter/Fall...

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    1. Thank you, James. I gave up Facebook for Lent. Happy season to you as well.

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  14. Susan,

    I forgot to add my comment at the time of linking my poem.
    A very depthful prompt this week which could have been applied to almost the entire globe at present.
    Eileen

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    1. Yes, I know. Oh, the world needs changing, but I wish we could find a better way. Witness remains important no matter what.

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  15. Happy Wednesday everyone! Looking forward to reading!

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    1. Thank you, Audrey. It's good to see you.

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  16. Enjoyed this prompt.Wrote from the witness perspective. Martyrs conjured up memories of suicide bombers ore Lives of Catholic saints stories,Martyrs being boiled in oil, eaten by lions or being slowly burnt to torch light Nero's dinner parties. Not feeling quite up to writing about this , I took another path....

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    1. Yes. Martyrdom is messy and I hope not necessary. Thank you, Rall.

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  17. This is such an extensive prompt. I did enjoy the challenge, and in my research was reminded that martyrs are not always those who loose their lives but the suffers and the witnesses also the issues of consensus and admiration, come into play.

    " a person who suffers very much or is killed because of their religious or political ​beliefs, and is often ​admired because of it[ Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Online]

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    1. Yes. Extensive and complex. I'me really happy that so many tried to address it and in so many ways. Thank you, Gillena.

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  18. Challenging, for sure, as a term bandied about so freely with misconceptions, capturing this accurately and respectfully will be like capturing lightning in a bottle. I love it. :)

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  19. It is a challenging subject,writers can interpret in many ways.

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    1. GOOD, RIGHT? Thank you for joining in.

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  20. Hi Susan! Here's my contribution to the freshly discovered meaning..
    It is new to me too! Thank you!

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    1. You are very welcome. Quite an amazing memorial you wrote.

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  21. I Just added mine. Quite an intriguing prompt..

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    1. Thank you. The poems from this prompt have been mighty!

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  22. Sorry I haven't been around. Have had computer problems and other life circumstances but I'm glad to be back! Thank you for a very meaningful prompt!

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