Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ A Date "that will live in infamy," or a Bomb of a Day

“As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found 
himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect.” 
― Franz KafkaThe Metamorphosis

“After a cruel childhood, one must reinvent oneself. 

Then reimagine the world.” 
― Mary Oliver

General view of Pearl Harbor during
the Japanese air strikes on 7 December 1941,  

U.S. Navy National Museum of Naval Aviation
photo No. 1996.488.029.034.

     In response to the destruction of Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, the USA declared war on Japan and officially joined the Ally struggle in WW2. This was the occasion of  USA President FDR's famous Infamy Speech, the source of "date that will live in infamy." 

Midweek Motif ~ 
A Date "that will live in infamy" 
a Bomb of a Day

Some days are so bad that 
they force new decisions and directions.

Your Challenge: Write about a turning-point event in history or in your life.

Here are two poems to inspire:

Pearl Harbor 

By Robinson Jeffers

Here are the fireworks. The men who conspired and labored
To embroil this republic in the wreck of Europe have got their bargain--
And a bushel more. As for me, what can I do but
fly the national flag from the top of the tower?

America has neither race nor religion nor its own language: nation or nothing.
Stare, little tower, 
Confidently across the Pacific, the flag on your
head. . . . 
          (Read the rest HERE at The Los Angeles Times.)

Once riding in old Baltimore,
Heart-filled, head-filled with glee,
I saw a Baltimorean
Keep looking straight at me.

Now I was eight and very small,

And he was no whit bigger,
And so I smiled, but he poked out
His tongue, and called me, 'Nigger.'

I saw the whole of Baltimore
From May until December;
Of all the things that happened there
That's all that I remember. 

For those who are new to Poets United:  
  1. Post your new BOMB poem on your site, and then link it here.
  2. If you use a picture include its link.  
  3. Share only original and new work written for this challenge. 
  4. Leave a comment here.
  5. Visit and comment on our poems.
(Next week's Midweek Motif is human rights.)

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  1. This one is quite a powerful motif. Take your time! I can hardly believe a parallel I drew--it's taken a couple of weeks to think it through. But I also wrote a poem about touching fire and burning my fingers--Once Burned, Twice Shy. Turning Points. Wow.

    Good Morning to all of you! Happy Wednesday. What a great week for poetry! I'm feeling better too, and so will be coming round to read, read, read.

  2. glad you feel better. I was actually writing this poem or it was writing itself and when I saw the prompt it came together in a rather Rockwell fashion

    1. I think I see the Rockwell pictures you mean, but the entire art engages so much more! Thank you, Leslie, for posting with us.

  3. Glad you are on the mend Susan. The Countee Cullen poem is very interesting. Apart from the overt hurt of racism there are other psychological implications in it as well. Often these seemingly simple poems with rhyme contain complexities like a lot of the nursery rhymes and Jean Fontaine's fables.

    1. Agreed! I think you are in Australia? Some aspects of that country's history positions you well to understand US white supremacy and how much it smothers ... though it is not a popular stance to say so. The system that sets limits is so ingrown as to be invisible. And ifI could, I would expose it in Nursery rhymes. You would aslo enjoy Countee Cullen's Tableau:

  4. Good morning, fellow poets! I attempted several poems in response to this prompt, which took me through some infamous days in history......a portentous prompt!!!!

    1. You surpassed yourself here! Thank you for your poem.

  5. I am grateful for the moments to reflect on those infamous days...

  6. Susan,

    I was able to fufil the prompt in both respects. A day to remember and involving a bomb. I am unlikely to ever forget..
    A vivid reminder, via this prompt...


  7. I am always moved by the events of December 7, 1941, Susan. Anyone who visits the Arizona Memorial, I think, would be. I have visited three is very, very moving and sobering each time.

    1. I've never been there except through documentary. It's on my bucket list.

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. I'm writing about my own thoughts on a very recent day of infamy (in my opinion).

  10. That's all folks. Tomorrow we start a new week with the Poetry Pantry. Bring your best work, hang out and read the poems of others.


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