A War to end all Worlds

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bodkin
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A War to end all Worlds

Post by bodkin » Fri Mar 25, 2011 8:10 pm

A War to end all Worlds

When the whistles were blowin'
and there was me
there was me and Smiggy
and the two Johns

Johnny C and Johnny F and
nothing for it
but to go over the top.
We could not see

no tripods from where we were
but we knew alright
they were out there somewhere
lumbering in

with beams and gas and voices
like foghorns boomin'
and foghorns seemed to fit
with that black gas.

Smiggy bought it first, smashed
down by steel feet
that fell amongst us sudden
in the wire

we couldn't even stop
though Johnny C
would have headed back
exceptin' I swore.

Johnny F got caught out
in the open
when two tripods came up
and burned down

where he stood. We cowered
in the water
in a half-collapsed trench
hearing steel grind

closer to us. Lining up
on the angle
of the trench and we knew
the Martians had us

but a squad of gunners
with a Vickers gun
had set it up quiet-like
and cut them down.

It's a beautiful machine
the Vickers gun
if you like to kill things
and that was my war.
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Re: A War to end all Worlds

Post by Oskar » Sat Mar 26, 2011 5:10 pm

Ian

I like the way you seem to have Sci-Fi and WWI duetting throughout this one. Interesting combination. I love your Boy's Own imagination.The voice, however, bothers me. If you're going to lop off the g's in words ending with ing, you've got to do it consistently or, as in my case, you run the risk of it becoming a bit of a distraction. I'm also not too sure about the ending. I probably need to read it a few more times to appreciate your intent. Enjoyed though but, as ever.
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Re: A War to end all Worlds

Post by bodkin » Sat Mar 26, 2011 6:11 pm

Thanks Oskar,

I'm not replying fully as I'm just off to make tea...

But I tend to think if I drop absolutely every "g" it looks too mechanical?

Ian
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Re: A War to end all Worlds

Post by David » Sat Mar 26, 2011 6:21 pm

Oskar wrote:I like the way you seem to have Sci-Fi and WWI duetting throughout this one. Interesting combination.
Absolutely. Works very well. One interestin' effect of dropping the g's is that it gives the poem a Rudyard Kipling Gunga Din feel, which seems fairly appropriate. Except, interestin'ly enough, if you drop the g from interesting it gives you a Wodehouse effect. So maybe it depends on the word. Fascinating. (I think.) Blowin' is definitely Kipling.

Cheers

David

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Re: A War to end all Worlds

Post by John G » Sat Mar 26, 2011 7:31 pm

The beginning stanza, with the two Johnnys is great. Reminds of many a black and white film – can imagine John Miles and Johnny Gielgud in the trenches.
War poems –so many out there which I would think makes this a difficult subject to tackle – so although this doesn’t (in my opinion) offer any thing new to the genre it sets the right tone and I personally really like the last stanza – the beauty of the machine that is killing everyone.
After one look at this planet any visitor from outer space would say 'I want to see the manager.

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Re: A War to end all Worlds

Post by twoleftfeet » Sun Mar 27, 2011 5:08 pm

I like the idea of death-dealing tripods - humans are no better than the Martians, perhaps?
Instead of just sitting on the fence - why not stand in the middle of the road?

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Re: A War to end all Worlds

Post by bodkin » Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:32 pm

Hi all,

Not quite sure where this one is going...

It's one of my pasting together of two otherwise unrelated themes. They always seem worth exploring but don't necessarily manage to reach a conclusion.

Probably just one to file under "interesting but..."

Ian
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Re: A War to end all Worlds

Post by BenJohnson » Mon Mar 28, 2011 6:59 pm

I have a horrible urge to start going 'Ooh La!'. This doesn't add much to the War of the Worlds story for me, except to give the view point of one of the soldiers. I find certain elements distracting the line lengths and the four line stanzas visually make this look like a ballad, but the lack of ballad meter or rhyme effects somewhat disconcerts me which may be a touch OCD. The end feels more WWI and it feels almost like this story should be taken as a parallel to that war shedding some light on the events, but it doesn't work in that way for me. There are elements that I like and that appeal to me, but it lacks a certain vital ingredient which ultimately leaves me feeling a little flat.

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Re: A War to end all Worlds

Post by bodkin » Mon Mar 28, 2011 9:09 pm

Hi Ben,

It is the War of the Worlds, of course, but my point was to combine it with the First World War...

I thought they meshed together quite well.

But I'd be the first to admit I don't have an overall point.

Ah well...

Ian
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