Let me lie to you, Elizabeth

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic
One out of three poems I had to write for an English Literature assignment last year in year 11.

My attempt at a dramatic monologue, “Let me lie to you, Elizabeth”, tells the story of a soldier in France during World War 2 who is writing home to his love interest and becomes obviously conflicted and unsure about whether to tell her the actual horrific truth of the war or lie to her and spare her the details. It provides a window into both the terrible consequences of human hatred and war as well as the strengths and selflessness associated with love. The unnamed soldier wants Elizabeth to enjoy her life, free from the burden of a heavy conscience that he is no doubt experiencing, and is fearful that his death could bring her great pain and expose her to what he is trying to protect her from.

Submitted: January 02, 2012

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Submitted: January 02, 2012

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Step forward, please
Into the light
And look up high and see the sky
Stretch out your hand into the air
And feel the breeze, so cold and
bare; like icy huffs of breathe exhaled
By blind leaders and tyrants,
or for you, only every simple mornings cold.
I too, stand here, in bright dark fields
And can answer no questions.
You feel surreal and sad and almost insignificant
perhaps; but do not be fooled by far off Milky Heavens
or blotchy distant universal flames too high for you and
I, to touch.
You’re higher than the furthest sun,
In the blue and the black and the beautiful gold  

Dearest Beth,
I’m sorry that I have not written in almost,
So many months and days,
I don’t quite know what to say or how to  really say it
or how to even start!
Dearest Elizabeth or dearest Beth and dearest or darling and all.
My God! What do I say to you who I have not seen for many generations dead
Or even held,
Or kissed,
Or heard sing and laugh,
Or seen skip and dance
And cry
I cannot tell you how I feel or what I have seen and done
And heard

For me,
Your laugh is just a distant song, a long-gone melody
A memory of warmer Springs
Shrouded in plummeting screams and hot-headed ringing and
the final gruesome seconds of Mr Crawley,
You know him, from down the street
And Mr Butcher the baker, the subject of our old time jests
who too is now scattered and red
I cannot reveal to you the colour of his heart which you and I too,
believed to be kind and yellow and warm,
even in winter!
Or how the endless stocks of shells that you so jubilantly create,  
To reign fiery barrages, like meteors descending on an Earthly Hell
Upon the krauts, the enemy - and save my life,
Once ended up above my own home in the ditch - not quite as wonderful as home
and almost razed all that was there
Your letter and the harmonica mother sent me
And my own self too,
or what is left of it

I cannot think how to put on paper,
The bloodied sky and marred cadaver of earth
The human hatred and the cowardly,
fear-powered dives to craters and walls of carcass
And rotting lifeless shards of eyes,
Now ice or maybe mirrors, or stained splitting glass,
with each grim demise and each dark reality and each self-tailored demon
etched into recurring memory and then,
projected through these blank fragments of dead white that I,
in all good conscience and goodwill
cannot broadcast home

Dearest Elizabeth,
And my expected little boy, Elijah
All is well.
I’ll see you soon.
We’re close to victory, I’m sure; I can smell it in the air.
The sweet and fresh country air of these romantics’ country
Untainted and not too cold, but not too hot
With people that are so cordial and compassionate,
True healthy souls

Now let me write in shivering actuality,
I love you,
And that is not a lie
So please, step into your light
And feel the air
And see the sky and stars
And know,
I cannot die if you will live
 

By David Kavanagh


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