Yesterday evening, I watched the beautifully made film ‘Testament of Youth’, which is based on Vera Britten’s autobiography of the same name. It follows her coming of age and blossoming into womanhood during the First World War. Vera Britten was one of the few women accepted into Oxford at that time. When her sweetheart signed up, she became a voluntary Aid Detachment nurse in London. They got engaged but he died from a fatal wound, so she volunteered to go to the battlefields in France. The loss of her fiancé and two of her close friends did not stop her from holding the hand of a German soldier as he died. She even rescued her brother from a pile of dead soldiers, cleaned him and nursed him, only to see him die from a head wound.
the kindness of hands
opium of the trenches
a glowing poppy
Kim M. Russell, 14th May 2018
My response to dVerse Poets Pub Haibun Monday: Compassion
This Monday we have a guest host, Xenia Tran, friend of whippets and photographer extraordinaire. She tells us about the poetry of Kobayashi Issa and the sect of Pure Land Buddhism, which advocates compassion and self-sacrifice for the sake of others, a theme which runs through many of Issa’s haiku.
For this week’s haibun, Xenia would like us to show or allude in our writing to compassion or self-sacrifice – without using these actual words.