Friday, August 8, 2008

At peace

A few months ago we sold a postcard on eBay from the first World War. We sell lots of cards from that epoch so selling it wasn’t too special. What was special though was the image. It was a row of dead soldiers lined up on the ground after a battle. Their wounds had been covered up and non had facial injuries. I’d rather not see cards like that. Even the ruins of towns, villages and farms can be shocking.

Yesterday I had to put the same card up for sale, another had arrived with a lot of postcards we bought recently. I have to scan the postcards and scale them down to fit eBay’s requirements; I managed to do all of this without looking too much at the image. Then I have to write about the card and examine the corners, look for creases and bends etc. I don’t know why I felt peace from the card – silence and peace. It reminded me of the extract from a poem by Wilfred Owen I'd used to accompany a postcard for armistice:

“Of them who running on that last high place
Breasted the surf of bullets, or went up
On the hot blast and fury of hell’s upsurge,
Or plunged and fell away past this world’s verge,
Some say God caught them even before they fell.”


Debbie K said...

Hi Anji
What a really moving poem.
So poignant. they capture the mood conveyed by the postcard beautifully.
I felt peaceful reading it too.
You clearly have a wonderful skill for creating your delightful postcards.

Best wishes

Anji said...

Debbie: Thank you! I've always loved the poems of Wilfred Owen. The last line quoted was just right for that card.

alan said...

I heard an interview last fall with the author of a book I need to track down; it was written with her grandmother's diaries as inspiration. Her Grandmother had lost ever male member of her family in "The Great War", her father, brothers, cousins and 2nd cousins...I forget the number but 20 something comes to mind.

Horrific! The terrible price paid for a lesson that wasn't learned...

A few years ago I read of a farmer that found a bayonet sticking up in one of his fields; as they started uncovering it they found more; a whole trench line of infantry buried alive by one of the huge artillery shells that were used- instantly suffocated and buried standing at their posts.

As the last few veterans of that war leave for Elysium fields I'm glad that the poetry and the postcards survive through someone so reverant!