Jutland :1916

Gray dark ,darkling gray
sky and sea both winding sheets
for the long departed ;
Nature’s coincidence calibrated
longitude and latitude lapsed
into the fury and the sound and
the sounding fury of foreboding fate
to drown,drown and never to escape ;
Coal-shovelled ,steam-belched,pistoning
leviathans ,steel-plated icons of
Empires ranging and roaring where
Vikings once navigated by sunstone ;
No Valkyrie rescue of warriors slain
when Harrison’s chronometer pinpointed
parameters for steel-trimmed corteges
might and wrath bristling ,danced their
predestined Pavane amid the
flashing flames of glory ;
Oratorios of brilliant ordnance
breaching invincible carapaces ;
Marble memorials may recount the fallen ,
historians’erudite treatises the facts ;
On the last day in May ,
Europe’s pride and manhood bled
though without knowing it ,
into the void their Empires were shed .

Footnote :- 31st.May 1916 ,the forces of Albion under Jellicoe lost 8 destroyers,3 battle-cruisers,3 cruisers with 6,100 lives.Von Scheer’s Hohenzollern hosts , lost 4 light-cruisers,3 destroyers ,1 battle-cruiser,1 battleship with 2,550 lives.

4 thoughts on “Jutland :1916

  1. Sunil Sharma

    Typically Kasatkin: A poetic meditation on macro/micro: Engagements with history, war, bad memories—and their relevance to and lessons for the present.
    Out of that sad war—as all wars are sad and tragic—emerges an elegiac tone of a real cosmopolitan poet that serves, Casandra-like, messages, largely unheeded. Wars result in collateral damages; human toll is mammoth; scars deep. Forces of hatred and jingoism clash and ensure tragic waste—in this case, watery waste.
    Absolute power, lust for colonies and profits, symbols of imperialism, and, empires finally collapsed. Nothing remained except the great human casualties—yet war-mongers never learn their lessons.
    This warning hidden in the somber narrative is delivered effectively—ignoring it would lead to other Jutland wars and losses. Ruling elites need to be humanized. They can change—provided they are listening to great poets like Louis Kastakin.


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