Poem 299 – Bang

One sound that echoed around the world,
Or so they say – for we say ‘bang’,
When the noise is more akin
To a whipcrack, but all the same,
We do not care to trace it back,
To the mistakes and flaws of both sides before,
For to do so might bring us shame,
And it is easier to say it started with


Dear readers,

I write poetry, and study history. Occasionally the two coincide, and I wanted to write this piece about WWI’s origins, since the centenary of the assassination of Franz Joseph was last Saturday. The recent discussion – at least in my home country – has often simplified the story, often to the benefit of Britain-in-the-past. Despite the large number of, say, German historians who speak fluent English and work in the UK, I have yet to see one on TV. I did, however, see this ‘rap battle’, where the contribution of Dan Snow was clear, both in the idiosyncratic rap style, and the cartoonish scapegoating of Germany. While he makes programmes that interest a great many people, his constant presence of late has distressed me – I am sure that you can tell that I am not his biggest fan. Depending on the reception of this poem, I may make more regular posts relating to the Centenary, bringing to your attention particularly interesting/amusing approaches. Please excuse my blatant left-wing biases…

Kind regards,

The Hapless Neo-Romantic


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