Propaganda

“They’re evil.  No better than monsters”
is what the posters said
of our nation’s enemies
and at first, we were skeptical

But the government showed evidence that
they’re evil. No better than monsters
and we started to listen, not bothering
to see if the story had another side

And as the evidence mounted
we were convinced to take up arms, because
they’re evil. No better than monsters
We boarded ships and off we sailed to war

We didn’t care what atrocities we committed
in our war against our nation’s enemies
We’d swallowed the lies on those posters…and
we became evil. No better than monsters

In war, truth is the first casualty
-Aeschylus

~~

At dVerse, Tony Maude is having us explore the tool of repetition in poetry.  Come on over and read some wonderful poems by some other wonderful poets…and if you wish, contribute some poetry of your own!

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20 thoughts on “Propaganda

  1. I admire the turn from they to – we became evil. No better than monsters – The brainwashing to incite war was and is deplorable ~ Good job here ~

  2. I think not only in war but in politics also truth is the first casualty….repeated lines fit in so naturally that they don’t look like repetition….a fantastic job…this….kudos

  3. in war…and business…ha…we build our justifications for our own actions…what does it matter if it is true…we make the truth in that circumstance….nicely done bryan

    • Tony, you just taught me something new again! Had to look up “quatern” after your comment. I had no idea that I was using an existing form…it just “felt right” to move the refrain in each stanza. (I don’t think I got the 8 syllables per line though). Perhaps the learning is one of the things that I enjoy most about dVerse…that, and the opportunity to grow as a poet. Thank you!!

  4. I liked how you ended your poem, Bryan. War can certainly turn decent human beings into monsters. I have a feeling the role of the people in charge of the armies plays a great role in what these men become.

  5. I have written scores of anti-war poems, & so have legions of others, & yet with each new one the message is pounded home even harder; wow, good on you for creating a classic form without conscious effort!

  6. I am reading for the first time, and will come back and read more! The whole “them-is-us” – you say it, write it, leave it in my mind – with grace . Breathe. And that’s big on a topic I’ve struggled to hold center on for decades now for how strongly it crosses my heart.

  7. You know, I know I came, read this loved on what you had written because it said what needed to be said in a way that can be heard. But somehow when I got back here I don’t see that comment. I don’t know what technological feat I didn’t almost pull off.

    I will say this and hope this comment sticks here. 🙂 The awareness of the evil-in’ loop of them and us is truth – just as the goodness loop, the righteous loop, and whatever else we think the ‘they’ are that’s us just describing self. Maybe it’s about focusing on the us-in-them we love about ourselves….

  8. heck bryan. that is an excellent piece… from wanting to fight those “monsters” to becoming monsters ourselves is only a small step… excellent anti-war poem

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