Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Ethel Mannin
Researching in the National Archives at Kew I stumbled across a Special Branch report compiled on novelist Ethel Mannin - her original file has been destroyed, but a "ghost" report has remained hidden away - to remind us of the power that literature has to disturb the corridors of power. I think this short poem - "The Song of the Bomber" was written at the time of the Spanish Civil War - but if anyone can point me to the source please leave a comment.

I am purely evil;
Hear the thrum
of my evil engine;
Evilly I come.
The stars are thick as flowers
In the meadows of July;
A fine night for murder
Winging through the sky.
(The Song of the Bomber)

I also recently came across this quotation from Mannin's Connemara Journal (1947)

"Those who sanction war sanction, with it, the unspeakable after-war."

which speaks for itself. It was "Quote of the Week" on Natalie Bennett's blog - Philobiblon - always a source of thought-provoking and stimulating material.