Poetry Sunday: 'I Like War' and 'Piano'

in poetry •  last year  (edited)

Irony is one of my favorite literary devices. So much can be said through it that can't be said in other ways. Both of the following poems rely on irony to some degree. The first, "I Like War," can be referred to as extended irony. Much like its distant cousin, the extended metaphor, extended irony isn't just a single use of irony in a poem. Rather, it takes the simple concept and plays on it throughout the poem using a variety of conceits to drive the message, to make the point in differing ways.

"Piano" is a little more subtle. The poem could do without the irony of love notes, for the piano is a metaphor that gives the poem its somber tone.

Both of these poems were born from my experience serving in Iraq in 2005, though they were written a little later. The exact date I can't be sure of. Both were subsequently published in a digital chapbook titled "I Like War" and later in my full-length poetry book "Rumsfeld's Sandbox."

| i like war | rumsfeld's sandbox |
| Copyright by Allen Taylor | Copyright by Allen Taylor |

blockurator poetry

I Like War

I like war.
It teaches me to think
like water, wade through hearts
with lion-like precision;

I like war.
It empowers me,
lets me to hold other men
in that dark, intimate
space between him and his maker.

I love war.
She is a beautiful mistress.
Her tongue has pelted my skin
with riddles all too often. With cunning,
she spreads fear, blankets the panting
skies with cries of salvation.
War rains. Even on
cloudless days.

War gives me reasons.
He tugs on my collar like hubris,
bursts upon my brow with audacity
as if Napoleon himself had
risen from the dead.

Oh, I like war;
predictable, lovely
in the years before gray. Sweet
is the battle – like corn, tart as lime,
and big. Very big. As much nice as
girly skirts in spring; the perfect
date any time of year.
I like war,

Yet …
like all men,
I hope to win back
that part of me left home.
From knuckle to stone, from fist to fire;
Carthage to Baghdad, man to man:

If war is so damn good
then why does it push me down?

blockurator i like war poem


He closed his Wurlitzer
for the last time.

Ebony hands,
ivory teeth,
a hymn bequeathed
to a bride so fresh
her sheets will not press.

Lover, soldier, son:
alive now in memory,
his sullen eyes fall sharp
like a half rest
through his mother’s
imploding heart.

Tomorrow comes,
but not for any more love notes.

blockurator piano poem

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The backside 5 (my five latest posts):

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I Like War hit me really hard. It's a terrible, terrible thing and yet there are so many people with the same feelings at first, only to realize that in the end it really does push them down and it's not as great as their love for it after all. Very powerful, and very well written :)

Thank you.

Very nice poetry!

Thank you.

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I loved the poem about war. Never forget that war is a form of arte itself. And most greatest fiction, myths, etc, of mankind has needed of war.

True, many great creations have come about because of war. Thanks for reading.

  ·  last year (edited)


And the "Piano" made me think of Asimov's short story "Virtuoso".

Excellent writing, buddy.


Namaste, JaiChai

Thanks, my friend. :-)

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  ·  last year (edited)

Your poem barged me with so many tears.

Thank you. And sorry. But thank you. Great compliment.

Irony really is a powerful thing..

Yes it is.

Beautiful and powerful poetry. The irony of war. Thank you for your service.

Piano has lovely imagery.
I love this stanza.

Ebony hands,
ivory teeth,
a hymn bequeathed
to a bride so fresh
her sheets will not press.

Thank you very much.


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I loved both poems!

Thanks. :-)

  ·  last year Reveal Comment