The 32nd poem of BE.aGAIN opens with comparing the human body at end of life to that of a body of work of a banned author- “Like Unwanted words in Unwanted works”.-being burned by a group frightened of difference, intelligence or new ways of thinking.
The men in “hoods or uniforms” were images that flashed across my mind from history -Nazis burning books or the KKK burning Beatle’s albums. Ridiculous regimes always went for the scientists, the artists and the intelligentsia first-Anything that threatened their “values” and “way of life” was to be destroyed.
The piece then moves towards an existentialist perhaps self-indulgent question of “who will wait as the embers cool?”.Our character here is questioning what he has done with his life to date and what he has yet to achieve.
Will the ashes be “scattered at sea or on a bar stool?”. Every bar in the world has its resident bar fly, an expert in everything with an answer for all. The fear of our protagonist here is that he will leave the world early having never even set sail on the vast ocean of life and is far more comfortable with a pint at his perennial perch.
The ancient mariner analogy gets a mention as I grew an odd fascination with Coleridge’s revolutionary Rime on discovering the various iterations it went through before publication and that it’s title was suggested by Wordsworth.
My interest intensified when hearing that Woodsworth was not only involved in it’s inception but also it’s near destruction as a piece when he tried to have it removed from the 2nd edition of a collaborative pieces so bewildering it was to readers of the time.
BE.aGaIN is out now,