Someday: A Poem

Towards the end of July I worked on some poetry again– something which is now often neglected since I’ve been working so much. But at the time I was feeling very inspired, and I came up with what I hope are some decent poems. This is one of them, and it’s quite a departure from my usual strictly metred rhyming poetry. With Someday (as with many of my other poems), I was writing with the voice of a Red Army soldier; but through this poem’s nonexistent rhymes and differing metre I wanted to make it sound as if it had been written originally in Russian and translated to its current English form. The inspiration for doing this came mainly from Alexander Tvardovsky’s poem I was Killed near Rzhev. His poem is amazingly expressive even in English, and as a poem it works even after translation. I hope I created what I set out to create with Someday, and I hope you enjoy it.

Someday

Someday I shall look across these fields and see

Machines of war rusted and thrown away

They shall be the corpses

Which number in millions from here to the Dnepr

Instead of my brothers,

Who populate the Soviet graveyard now.

Someday I shall hear the birds remembered from childhood

And not the screaming rockets and screaming men

Which haunt me ceaselessly

There will be no sound of sadness, save for

The mothers who endure

And mourn in the dawn their children bought.

Someday the only loss will be whatever we wish to recall

And we will be rich,  not hungry

Like the listless prisoners

Whom I cannot number, but only imagine

In the western expanses

Which remain ours, though inhabited by the Hun.

Someday we will be able to smile again, with dry eyes

And the only scars will be wrinkles on our faces

Scars that will never

Grace the faces of the dead, who forever

Will stay silent and young

And scattered like dust across all of Russia.

Someday we will see the morning, instead of only night

There will be sun on our land, instead of dark grey

Some of us will live

To see this day, and some of us will die for it

And my only question is

When will someday be today?

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Ready to Rock!

You’ve all likely gotten used to me posting refined outfits from the ’30s and ’40s on this blog– well, today you’re in for something of a shock! Last night I attended a concert featuring legendary hard rock band the Scorpions; and I got into the spirit of things by wearing a bold ’80s-inspired ensemble. I love dressing for occasions, and last night was no different. The Scorpions are my favourite band and I was beyond excited to see them perform; so here was a perfect opportunity to have some fun with my fashion! I was determined to conform to the standard rock-band look of leather and jeans while also retaining my own personal style!Ready to Rock

 

Ready to Rock by adairjacobs on Polyvore
This look took some planning– I spent much of my time at work yesterday thinking of what I was going to wear! Fortunately, by the time I was home it was all straight in my head. I started with the simple yet rocking combination of moto-style jeans and a black T-shirt, paired with a purple leather jacket. I feel so ’80s when I wear my purple jacket– it just feels very excessive and loud, as I believe the ’80s were! I also wore high-heeled moto-style boots, which were stylish but not so comfortable to stand in for a two-hour concert! But at least I looked good…
Further ’80s touches came through in Wayfarer-look sunglasses and geometric silver jewellery. I did, however, attempt to retain some of my more vintage-inspired aesthetic with a faux crocodile handbag and a classic oxblood manicure. I certainly did not feel out of place at the Scorpions concert, and I doubt I looked it either!

Long May She Reign!

This past Wednesday, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II surpassed Queen Victoria as Britain’s longest reigning monarch; giving her even more public esteem and appreciation than she already possessed. She received thousands of personal messages from British citizens and foreigners alike; from all corners of the Commonwealth and even the furthest reaches of the world. But in her typical fashion, Her Majesty marked this occasion with little pomp. She isn’t one to make a fuss, and that is part of what has made her such a beloved and enduring icon throughout the past six decades.

Elizabeth_and_Philip_1953

The day that started Her Majesty the Queen’s remarkable 63-year reign. Image from the Library and Archives Canada via Wikimedia Commons, from the public domain.

Many people have been speaking lately of their experiences of the Queen, and I also have my own experience to share. I saw Her Majesty about ten years ago at Windsor Castle– she was just a distant yellow-clad figure with white hair watching the guards on their rounds, but it was her and I remember that day fondly. Back then I still dreamed of being a princess or a queen myself someday; a dream which is now no more. What has stayed with me, however, is the positive influence given by Her Majesty. She is a strong woman with both a family and an incredibly demanding job, yet not once has she complained nor hardly faltered in her duty. I see hers as a truly positive example, and I doubt I’m the only young woman who views her as a role model.

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I think the Queen is pretty cool– she still rides horses and drives round her estates, even as she nears age 90! Image attributed to Michael Evans, http://www.reagan.utexas.edu/archives/photographs/photo.html via Wikimedia Commons. From public domain

Another reason I value the Queen is because of her dedication to her Christian faith. I am also Christian, and although I find it harder than I think I should to voice my faith, she has showed me that one can speak through one’s countenance and actions as to what one believes. She never speaks much about what she believes, but when she does she speaks with honesty, humility, and compassion. I aspire to live with the grace and humility that she always has.

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Still smiling as she greets the crowds during her Diamond Jubilee. Image attributed to West Midlands Police via Wikimedia Commons, CC-BY-SA 2.0

Duty has always been a defining feature of not only Her Majesty’s 63-year reign, but also her entire life. During the wartime years, she joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service (while still only a teenager), and contributed to the war effort through the decidedly un-royal tasks of changing tyres, driving cars, and servicing engines. I often think of Her Majesty’s dedication when I’m hot, tired, and fed up with a day of work at Mitsubishi!

Hrh_Princess_Elizabeth_in_the_Auxiliary_Territorial_Service,_April_1945_TR2832

Her Majesty began a lifetime of serving the nation way back in the ’40s. Image #TR2832 from the Imperial War Museums, public domain

And while our monarch’s duty has never wavered, neither has her dedication to it. I can’t imagine how she has coped with over six decades of public appearances, speeches, state dinners, and waving, but she has– and she has done it with such elegance and grace. I don’t think there is a human being alive today more tireless or classy than the Queen.

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Aged 89, and she still keeps going. What a life she has led! Image attributed to Joel Rouse of the MoD, http://www.defenceimagery.mod.uk/fotoweb/archives/5000-Current%20News/Archive%20(Navy)/RoyalNavy/2015/March/45158590.jpg

You might have gotten the idea that I am an enormous fan of Her Majesty the Queen– indeed I am, because in a world tainted with wanton oversharing, never-ending selfishness, and societies which seem to believe that pop stars and supermodels are the highest authority, Her Majesty is one figure who has remained unchanged by it all. She demonstrates that one needs not show all one’s cards to be respected; that a life can truly be lived for the benefit of others; and that even today class, dignity, and poise can be maintained. I believe that she is the best role model one could possibly be, and she has certainly influenced my life and my aspirations irreversibly and for the better. I hope that she will enjoy many happy more years, because we can all benefit from her service and her influence. To end this post, I will say the only appropriate phrase: God save the Queen!

Visiting the Emirates

It can be hard being a football fan in North America. Working full time for minimum wage means that I have neither the time nor the funds to indulge in watching as much football as I’d like, since I’d have to buy a substantial TV subscription in order to do that! But I still love Arsenal (and Newcastle and Swansea follow not-so-closely behind; my family hails from the North and from Wales), and I try to watch as many of their matches as I can.

My brother finds football boring, as I used to as well– I remember shaking my head with him as our Grandad extolled the virtues of the beautiful game! But now I love football, and I was determined to visit Arsenal’s home ground on my latest trip to London. It was something different to do and it was neat to visit something further afield from central London. I’m glad my mum humoured me and agreed to spend an entire precious morning visiting the Emirates!

Holloway Road

My first glimpse of the Emirates, as we headed away from Holloway Road Tube station

Emirates

The glorious Emirates Stadium, branded very much with Arsenal in mind

The stadium was so impressive– I was surprised at the size, since I’d never been beside a football stadium before. It was covered in Arsenal logos and photographs, and it is an unmissable fixture of the area.

Cannons

A pair of cannons add much to the Arsenal-themed atmosphere!

Flats near Arsenal

I imagine the tenants of these blocks of flats must see and hear it all come match day…

Arsenal Sign

A notice on one of the stadium doors warns most appropriately against the wearing of away colours

My mum and I walked around the perimeter of the whole stadium– it was quite a jaunt. It was very interesting because there were dog-walkers, joggers, and locals also walking around the outside; the Emirates seems to be fully embraced as not just a sports ground but also somewhere to meet and enjoy.

Sczescny

Wojciech Szczesny, Arsenal’s then-goalkeeper, is my favourite player

Around the perimeter there were many banners celebrating Arsenal’s achievements and famous players from past and present. Although I only started watching football about five years ago, I was proud to see that my team has been successful and illustrious for years upon years.

FA Cup

I remember watching the FA Cup last year– a match which Arsenal won!

Gibbs

Kieran Gibbs is my second-favourite Arsenal player

Visiting the Emirates was a unique experience, and I’m really glad I decided to go. Next up on my list is attending an actual Arsenal match– I’d better start saving my money now!!

Arsenal Sign