Sunday 15 August 2021

Swapna Sanchita, Poetry 2021 Longlist

Why World War I was fought

A nineteen-year-old, fired at point bank range shots- three,

In the June of Nineteen fourteen.

One killed the Archduke Franz of Austria-Hungary,

One killed the mother of his unborn child.

One started the war to end all wars-such effrontery!

A war in which twenty million people died,

It was the Serb Garrido Princep who started that war.

That’s what the history writers said.

The Black Hand of a teenage boy was to blame,

For actions that Germany Austria Russia did take.

Chroniclers will not talk enough,

Of the hubris and the incessant greed,

Of Emperors, Prime Ministers,

Of Presidents and Kings.

The history books will never dwell,

On the belligerence of people, of all nations 

Who hunger for war and feel a sense of pride.

Those who call a world war, ‘great', forget

In someone's victory, so many just died.

It took half a decade to end the great war,

And just twenty years for a 'greater' one to begin.

But any battle, any war, great or small

Though fed, fuelled on words like 'Our Country',

Is always waged for the rich, the rulers, potentates,

The leaders who crave different forms of glory

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