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Thursday, February 07, 2019

Monuments Men

Last weekend we had a surprise stay in the South of France, which was an interesting experience, as though we've had holidays there for years in a row, we've never actually visited in dismal weather. So we spent quite a bit of time taking things easy indoors. Including watching the film Monuments Men.

I challenged Kalia to try and write a poem about it. That never materialised, but here's mine, for what it's worth.

How can a painting be worth risking your life
Or a sculpture the shedding of blood?
How does a cold lump of stone have
More value than a warm, beating heart?

The value of the sculpture is not in the stone
But in the heart that sees that everything
Which is being fought for: truth, beauty and freedom
Is most purely expressed in this art.

And if it is wrong to destroy beauty out of hatred,
Surely it is right to save it out of love.

Some things have more value than life,
Because without them, life has no value.

Funnily enough, the first poem that ever really 'got' me was a war poem: Dulce et decorum est. In fact of all the poems we ever did at school, that's the only one I remember (and I don't mean the only one that I remember the words of!).

In fact there are only 3 other poems I could cite (not recite) - and these weren't from school:
- Somewhere I have never travelled ("nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands")
- God's Grandeur ("like shining from shook foil")
- Mignonne, allons voir si la rose ("Ceuillez, cueillez vostre jeunesse").

Of course, if you count words to hymns and song lyrics as poems, there are probably a couple of hundred I could reel off.

Oh, and nursery and nonsense rhymes too!

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