Children Forget

Title: Russian Dancers
Artist: Edgar Degas (French, Paris 1834–1917 Paris)
Date: 1899 via https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/459097

Children Forget

women dance their prayers

crowned in wreaths of wild color

in whirling skirts of flowers

arms entwined with arms

else breaking hearts bleed red streams

and children forget

love exists and joy endures

the dark whims of violence

nightmare days of warring men

**

The #TankaTuesday challenge this week explores Ekphrastic poetry inspired by visual art. The artwork was chosen by Colleen from WordCraft Poetry and poet and blogger Selma Martin. Their selection relies heavily on current events, however they wanted to be clear that their choice “is not a celebration of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine” and they both “support Ukraine in its efforts to maintain its sovereignty.”

This poem is a syllabic form called a chōka with syllable counts of 5-7-7-5-7-5-7-7-7.

I chose to write about women as the bearers of hope, the guardians of children, and the protectors of joy and love during the dark days of war. (I know countless men share these qualities too).

178 thoughts on “Children Forget

  1. Erik says:

    This poem, read in this moment, makes me very aware that while we may use terms like “Russia” and “Ukraine,” each country is not some concrete mass. Each is made up of individual people, the vast majority of whom do not want conflict or division or whatever it is a particular leader wants at a particular time. We as Americans should understand this all too well. And so we must always maintain empathy for the people, separating them from the goals of a few in government. Your poem is a wonderful reminder of those beautiful people, whether in Russia or Ukraine or anywhere else the world over.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks for the reflection and lovely comment, Erik. I think most people around the world care about their children and want them to grow up with hope, even when in the midst of war and crisis. I was thinking, as I wrote this, about the families pretending, for the sake of their children, that everything is going to be okay and that life is still joyful. It breaks my heart because its been going on for thousands of years. Have a lovely week, my friend. Great to see you around! Hugs.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Resa says:

    Stunning poetry…heart wrenching.
    In the near future.. soon(ish) as I am not only a turtle reader, but a turtle poster, I will be doing a sunflower post on GLAM. Each photo will link to a post someone did re: Ukraine. I’d like to link this if I may?

    Liked by 3 people

  3. dgkaye says:

    A powerful and chilling truth Diana. Well done! ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  4. […] D. Wallace Peach, from Myths of the Mirror, has written a haunting poem about war and hope. […]

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Jeff Flesch says:

    What a brilliant write, Diana. Is so true. The sowing of peace and love is needed. The violent warmongers need to stop. Wishing you a beautiful coming weekend. 🤍

    Liked by 3 people

  6. markbierman says:

    Beautiful and haunting, Diana.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Jennie says:

    This is wonderful, Diana! Poetry and art together!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. This is lovely, Diana — and so are your thoughts around it. Hugs on the wing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for stopping by to read, Teagan. It’s a rather dark one, though there’s a touch of hope if we can keep spreading the love. Keep it up, my friend. I hope your days are filled with love and peace. Hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. SelmaMartin says:

    I’m sure Degas would approve of this poem attached to his name. Just sublimely lovely. Let’s dance for the children. Thanks for sharing. xo

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks so much for stopping by, Selma. Yes, we have to keep dancing for the children, so they don’t give up hope and fall into despair. Thank you for the lovely prompt and the opportunity to write. Have a lovely creative day. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. These are the beautiful words I’ve come to expect from you. It’s beautiful and heartbreaking, yet hopeful. I’m praying … so hard. Hope you are well and taking good care. Lots of love to you, Diana. ❤️

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks so much for the visit, Tanya. I’m so glad you enjoyed the poem, though that probably isn’t the right word for something so heartbreaking. There is a glimmer of hope though if we can keep caring and loving and striving for a kinder world. I’m praying every day too. I hope you’re doing well, surrounded by peace, creativity, and love. Hugs. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Definitely a timely poem, given the Ukraine situation.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks for the visit, HRR. Yeah, I certainly had that war in mind. It’s so depressing to think that this is happening for no reason whatsoever. I think about the families over there every day. I hope your day is filled with peace and hope. Hugs.

      Like

  12. Sigh How I’d like to dance with Degas’ women, but truly, dancing is hard right now with the images we receive. With war and violence and the stumped egos of evil men. But then again, we MUST dance and scrub out the dark, celebrate light and love. Your poem brought such emotion and passion to me, Diana. Well done, as always.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, Pam! And we must dance to show the children that love, and hope exist, that the world can be a kind and joyful place. It is really hard to be joyful these days when so many people are suffering for no reason at all, when one man can get away with this and the whole world seems unable to stop it. The tragedy is heart-rending. Thank you for stopping by. Sorry for being so depressing. Many many hugs to my dancing friend. Keep spreading the love. ❤ ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I enjoy the type of writing work you do🍎

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Diana, your poem, timeless yet so real, that’s the thing with truth… we never learn.

    Liked by 4 people

  15. mitchteemley says:

    Your words capture perfectly the spirit of the Dega painting, Diana.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Teri Polen says:

    Such a beautiful poem, Diana. It’s so sad that so many lives have been affected by one man’s greed.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I think he’s a sociopath, Teri. Sort of like “you know who” but far worse because of the power he wields. Thank you for stopping by to read and comment, my friend. I’m delighted that you enjoyed the poem. Have a lovely week.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Diana, the contrast between the women & men is so perfectly portrayed in this piece – it makes me so sad and frustrated with those of my sex.

    Sincerely,
    David

    Liked by 3 people

    • Of course there are billions of wonderful men who are loving, kind, and responsible, David. But it is mostly men who start wars, and apparently, it only takes one to rain down death and destruction. Thanks so much for reading and I hope someday the world will learn. Hugs.

      Like

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