by Andy Nowicki
The following is the conclusion of my interview with Juleigh Howard-Hobson, whose book I Do Not Belong to the Baader-meinhof Group and Other Poems is now available from Counter-Currents.com
Part 1 can be read here.
Nowicki: "Or Forever Hold No Peace" is a stirring poem about WW2 veterans, apparently from both the Axis and the Allied side of the war. The poem seems to reflect on a "bright time when/ Hope stood gladly with you, Europa's men." Talk about the inspiration and context for this poem, as well as your reference to the "black sun" (which is also referenced in other poems of the collection). “What is history but a fable agreed upon?” said Bonaparte.
Howard-Hobson: “Or Forever Hold No Peace” wanted to be written, it came as an image in my head: old grizzled men standing in a line, waiting for a memorial parade to begin. Which memorial, which parade, which men....those things didn’t matter.... all that mattered, as far as the poem was concerned, was that the men were together and they were old and they knew something and they knew that what they knew was not what they were supposed to know—not the official story, not the sanctioned truth, not, perhaps, even the legal truth anymore...but still, they knew it. The poem comes from the frustration of knowing that these grand old men might take something precious to their graves because they don’t know that their truth won’t only fall on deaf ears. That some of us want to know what they knew. On both sides.