Well, it’s no surprise, really.
Yeats had the same opinion about me.
‘I’m not having you in the book of poems I’m editing,’
(I’m paraphrasing him. Call it revenge.)
‘I’m not sure I like the way you write about war,’
(only he might have said ‘loike’,
so you see,
in lots of ways, we were different.)
‘A bit too much suffering for my loiking
and not what we’re looking for in poetry,’
(Oh, forgive me, Mr W B Yeats,
for daring to mention the blood.)
And, now, here come Shropshire Council,
borrowing from Yeats’ ideas.
(Don’t they know that’s called plagiarism?)
'We’ll just pretend that what he had to say
isn't as important as people thought,'
'We’ll just, while no one’s looking,
pile up bricks and roofs and window frames
in the apple orchard where he played
and surround his birthplace with other noise
until his voice is silenced,'
(Gosh, I hate to point it out,
you being wise councillors, and all,
but it didn’t work for Yeats,
and I don’t see your council documents
on every exam syllabus....)
© Fran Hill
Wilfred Owen: Call to protect WWI poet's home
William Butler Yeats - On Being Asked for a War Poem (1915)
Fran lives in the West Midlands (UK). She teaches English in a local secondary school, writes, performs, blogs, tweets and tries to resist chocolate.