‘A Cold Coming’ by Tony Harrison

The poem A Cold Coming was first published in protest against the First Gulf War. It was re-published on February the 14th 2003. It is by the magnificent anti-war writer and poet Tony Harrison. 

This morning I am hoping that other routes to global understanding are sought. It feels like a whole generation of kids have been effected by War, by Propaganda, by violent and intolerant language. The included poem (above) is also linked in the blogroll on the right hand side of this page. I have decided not to excerpt it here but would encourage anyone who is interested in the realities of war to read. Tony visited the frontline and is a deeply political poet of great integrity.

A Cold Coming (excerpted)

I saw the charred Iraqi lean towards me from bomb-blasted screen, 
his windscreen wiper like a pen ready to write down thoughts for men, 

his windscreen wiper like a quill he’s reaching for to make his will. 
I saw the charred Iraqi lean like someone made of Plasticine 

as though he’d stopped to ask the way and this is what I heard him say: 
“Don’t be afraid I’ve picked on you for this exclusive interview. 

Isn’t it your sort of poet’s task to find words for this frightening mask? 
If that gadget that you’ve got records words from such scorched vocal cords, 

press RECORD before some dog devours me mid-monologue.” 
So I held the shaking microphone closer to the crumbling bone: 

“I read the news of three wise men who left their sperm in nitrogen, 
three foes of ours, three wise Marines with sample flasks and magazines,

three wise soldiers from Seattle who banked their sperm before the battle. 

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One Reply to “‘A Cold Coming’ by Tony Harrison”

  1. O btw- the whole post above links directly to the Poem for two reasons.

    1. I like it that way.
    2. I think it should be read.

    Indeed, the more people who read the better, wall to wall media is annoying and books are great which is why this site is dedicated to women writers and lovers of books. There are libraries near most communities + stories and songs if we care to listen to them…

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