And Murdered in her Bed

And Murdered in her Bed

A Poem by Andrew John
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Freeverse

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(Oscar Wilde wrote that long poem "The Ballad of Reading Gaol" in 1897, quoted here. In it, a man met his death; for some decades the UK has not had the death penalty.)

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Our man’s still here, spent twenty years behind these bars.
and may be here for quite some time to come.
Death is not allowed in jail, even for death,
and yet it was a death he brought about.

She was “The poor dead woman whom he loved
And murdered in her bed”.
Yes, he thinks of Oscar’s words, the words
that talk of “three leathern thongs” that hold a murderer.

He thinks of the rope that would throttle;
he wishes Mr Wilde’s “Ballad” would apply to him.
He wishes for death, wanting to share that of the one he loved.
But he’s been here for twenty years.

He may remain a long, long time. Punishment!
Decades more seem to hold out their arms. Punishment!
He᾽ll be gripped by each decade’s year. Punishment!
Each “year whose days are long”. Punishment!

Oscar’s “Ballad” has long been with him,
a long, long poem he cherishes, takes to his bed,
wishes for that condemned man’s throat,
the rope and thongs the man felt as “he gave that bitter cry”.

That man was given death.
Execution was perhaps reward.
Each had, of course, killed the one he loved.
What is a punishment? Death now, quickly, or life in jail?


(17 Jul 2023)

© 2023 Andrew John


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Featured Review

I am very familiar with the poem and the place Andrew. Pass it often. Now it sports a Banksy on the outer prison walls. As for your thoughts here, I am never in favour of state execution. I don’t believe in an eye for an eye. I can see how some might think death is more merciful than years in prison, but it’s not enough to sway me. A death sentence creates martyrs. Great read and composition. Have a good day.

Chris

Posted 11 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Andrew John

11 Months Ago

Thanks, Chris. People need punishment if they've done wrong, yes, but not death, I feel. It has been.. read more
Chris Shaw

11 Months Ago

Thank you Andrew .
Andrew John

11 Months Ago

Meant to mention: https://www.celticaradio.com/. And read (with an English accent, of course!) by m.. read more



Reviews

Interesting outlook on the concept of punishment
I do believe in an eye for an eye.
Too many criminals are released just to reoffend!
This has me thinking of the drug lord El Chapo who murdered countless people with nary a thought.
He was jailed in isolation instead of being executed but turned jail time into a bit of a rest stop, then escaped, was eventually jailed again and is now jailed, supposedly in isolation, for life.
I am not sure just what to think.
I'd like to see him executed for being the slime he is (and others like him, including Putin) but in reality I want to see them suffer for as long as possible.
A very complex issue.

Posted 10 Months Ago


Andrew John

10 Months Ago

Interesting thoughts here, Dave. I tend to be against execution, knowing that this act makes us all .. read more
It is obvious you have read a great deal of poetry and absorbed well the lessons it taught. The two aspects in this work I most admire are the assonance among allowed/brought/about and the repetition of punishment. Well written.

Winston

Posted 11 Months Ago


Andrew John

11 Months Ago

Thanks so much for your comments, Winston. It came rather quickly to me, though poetry often takes i.. read more
I am very familiar with the poem and the place Andrew. Pass it often. Now it sports a Banksy on the outer prison walls. As for your thoughts here, I am never in favour of state execution. I don’t believe in an eye for an eye. I can see how some might think death is more merciful than years in prison, but it’s not enough to sway me. A death sentence creates martyrs. Great read and composition. Have a good day.

Chris

Posted 11 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Andrew John

11 Months Ago

Thanks, Chris. People need punishment if they've done wrong, yes, but not death, I feel. It has been.. read more
Chris Shaw

11 Months Ago

Thank you Andrew .
Andrew John

11 Months Ago

Meant to mention: https://www.celticaradio.com/. And read (with an English accent, of course!) by m.. read more
Interesting concept in this one. Execution seen as more merciful than life in prison. You should send this one to Sirhan Sirhan.

Posted 11 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Andrew John

11 Months Ago

Thanks for amusing comment J the B. BTW, I've just voiced a slightly shorter version of "The Ballad .. read more

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99 Views
4 Reviews
Added on July 18, 2023
Last Updated on July 18, 2023
Tags: oscar, wilde, murder, execution, ballad, reading, jail, gaol, death

Author

Andrew John
Andrew John

Carmarthen, Wales, United Kingdom



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