This year I wrote a cycle of poems relating to war and to women. I titled part of it Two Songs of War and a Lyric for the SouthWord Journal, although it is intimately related to an earlier sequence of art poems, and to the 75th anniversary of Guernica which was marked in 2012.
The second poem in the art series , Gernika, was written for Euskal PEN and was read during the 75th anniversary commemoration of Guernica this summer of 2012. The first and last poem of the sequence, A Lament, was written some time ago and had been put in a folder. A Lament is too awkward a piece to submit to most journals as it is written for three voices and does not slip easily into the submission guidelines of many reviews. A Lament was written firstly as a poem and then as a chorus. It was conceived to weave in and out of the sequence which was published initially in SouthWord Magazine. Lament is an inherent part of the sequence because it involves the voices of the women who inhabit the poems in Two Songs of War and a Lyric.
As if, Sabine, Gernika , A Lament, and Through the Blossom-Gate are meant to work together, and are about loss and recovery. Here is what has happened to the original cycle, the Lament, and the unpublished cycle of seven poems since I sent them out.
- Gernika was read on the Anniversary of the Guernica Massacre in 2012
- It was published in a batch of poems titled, Two Songs of War and a Lyric
- It will be anthologised forthis project
- A Lament is a companion poem to Two Songs of War and a Lyric, published SouthWord in 2012.
- It will be programmed at the Béal Festival , November 2012. Notice here.
- Cycle of seven poems , at Bone Orchard Poetry
The 7 cycle is provisionally entitled Eamon Ceannt Park Cycle , after the park that the dream-sequence was written in. I had planned to send it out, as it is ready. However, in all the entire sequence including the lament amounts to thirteen inter-related poems written over the period of a year or two. They inherently form one piece. There is also an emergent coda for the entire. (Completed)
I am glad the poems have found homes and that they resonate with people. I hope to publish the thirteen poems together at some point, but I see that I will have to make my own arrangement for them, as they hardly fall into a traditional submission-shape. The most important thing for me is that they maintain their integral unity and coherence. I am editing them into a folder and deciding how I will eventually publish them in their integrity as a whole piece.
I included the list where the poems appear separately beneath this post.
2 responses to “On ‘Two Songs of War and a Lyric’”
Excellent post. I look 4ward 2 hearing and reading Lament.
It is sounding really good, possibly because Rita organised and staged it for me. Interesting learning curve.