A Touch of Bad Taste

On our anniversary, Elisabeth gave me Pablo Neruda's Residence on Earth.  I took it upon myself to read Henry Spain in Our Hearts, which is to me, the centrepiece of the whole book.  It's a beautiful poem, don't get me wrong but for the first time I felt uncomfortable reading something to Henry.  It was beyond the fact that for whatever reason he couldn't settle or get into the rhythm of the voice; it had to do with the horrible images of war, especially those of rivers of dead children's eyes floating in hell, gazing upon their killers face.  Such is war, however and, as many have expressed, anyone who glamorizes it encourages the acts of war.  This poem is a very harsh reminder about the reality of oppression, the resistance it will incur and the fate waiting for those who would put their greed above society's.

I'm more than happy to gently push my politics on my kid, without a context (In his brain), it felt weird reading him this.  If he understood any of it, I'm sure he didn't get the joyous contrast, after all the horror and war, of the Solar Ode to the Army of the People and not the floating eyeballs.

It was also the first time that Henry hasn't connected with a piece of writing.  Next up will be Rimbaud's Season in Hell with, hopefully, better results.

As and aside, I find it impossible to believe that Crass were not intimately with Neruda.  The repetition of phrases and imagery, as well as pentameter of his verse suspiciously mirrors a lot of their music, especially their later work dealing with the Falkland Wars:


  1. Anonymous3/7/11 08:38

    I recommend Ferdinand the Bull if you want Spanish themed books for Henry. Sally

  2. Aww, I loved Ferdinand when I was little. I'll have to keep my eyes out for it.

  3. Anonymous3/7/11 21:45

    The library has it.