Sunday, 4 May 2014

Sunday Review

This week, we began with Kristina England's 'The Hunters of Laval, Quebec', a poem about an unfortunate sequence of events occurring at what should have been a fun occasion, an egg hunt to celebrate the Easter holiday. If we are to believe the details given in the report, then we are tempted to wonder how, when adults behave so badly in public, giving way to impatience and greed, children can be expected not to follow their example.

Then, on Tuesday, I posted my own poem 'A Place of Safety' which was written on Monday evening in response to the news of the stabbing and subsequent death of teacher, Ann Maguire . We later learned, with tragic irony, that she was not supposed to be in school on that day but had gone in to help out and that she was due to retire a little later in the year. I am sure that I speak for Hamish, as well as all our readers and contributors, in sending our heart-felt condolences to her family and friends.

Wednesday's poem was 'Border Control' by Sue Norton, a lovely little piece which. to my way of thinking, may be read as either a quirky comment on the instincts of Czech deer or as a commentary of quite a different kind. It is both humbling and inspiring to see the quality and range of the work that ends up in our in box and I would like to take this opportunity of thank all our contributors.

On Wednesday we kicked off the new month with a new contributor  by publishing 'The Drownproof Men' by Jeremy Roberts. This is a rather longer poem than we usually go with but, as we said a little while back, we will make the occasional exception and we are always keen to welcome new contributors.

 Similarly, we don't usually publish two pieces by the same poet in a single week but, sometimes, it seems the right thing to do and, since I was 'in the chair' this week - making up for the fact that I couldn't work last week because of my painful shoulder - I decided to go ahead and run this hard-hitting and, perhaps, controversial piece.

 It's a tough one, isn't it, the capital punishment dilemma? I can understand the anger and bitterness felt by the relatives and friends of those victims whose killers appear to them, perhaps, to have not been adequately punished for their crimes. I can even admit that I am not sure that, in their shoes, I wouldn't have the same gut reaction. At the same time, though, there have been too many cases of innocent men and women going to their deaths; and these, of course, are just the ones that someone found out about. Also, is it not the mark of a civilised society to show mercy as well as justice to those who fall foul of its laws?  I am perfectly well aware that some of you good folk out there will disagree with me but it is one of those issues, I think, on which there is no middle ground. You are either 'for' or 'agin' it.  I have always been the later and my position hasn't changed.

Have a happy and productive week.

Abigail Wyatt


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