In the solitude of lockdown
and the peaceful safety
of a village on the Broads,
If it wasn’t for social media
and local TV news, we might forget
for a minute that the sea
destroying sea defences,
toppling homes from cliffs,
and eating up the coast
Kim M. Russell, 10th November 2020
My response to dVerse Poets Pub Tuesday Poetics: Poetry as Witness
Peter is hosting from Australia this Tuesday with poetry of witness (a.k.a. documentary poetry or information poetry).
He reminds us that some of us live in difficult circumstances and all of us live in times of change. He also writes about local changes, historic houses being demolished, and trees cut down for road-widening.
He wonders what’s a poet to do. He has found some answers in poems by Jane Hirschfield, Wilfred Owen and Urdu poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz, as well as a preface to a poem by Russian poet Anna Akhmatova.
Peter challenges us to bear witness in our local neighbourhood, to look at our local papers, find publicly reported events, tree plantings or tree fellings, dam openings or landslides, something we have witnessed personally – and write witness poems.