“through the act of living, the discovery of oneself is made concurrently with the discovery of the world around us. . ."

Friday, June 17, 2011

Five Ways To Kill A Man

I would like to share with you a poem by Edwin Brock.

Five Ways To Kill A Man 
There are many cumbersome ways to kill a man.
You can make him carry a plank of wood
to the top of a hill and nail him to it. To do this
properly you require a crowd of people
wearing sandals, a cock that crows, a cloak
to dissect, a sponge, some vinegar and one
man to hammer the nails home.

Or you can take a length of steel,
shaped and chased in a traditional way,
and attempt to pierce the metal cage he wears.
But for this you need white horses,
English trees, men with bows and arrows,
at least two flags, a prince, and a
castle to hold your banquet in.

Dispensing with nobility, you may, if the wind
allows, blow gas at him. But then you need
a mile of mud sliced through with ditches,
not to mention black boots, bomb craters,
more mud, a plague of rats, a dozen songs
and some round hats made of steel.

In an age of aeroplanes, you may fly
miles above your victim and dispose of him by
pressing one small switch. All you then
require is an ocean to separate you, two
systems of government, a nation's scientists,
several factories, a psychopath and
land that no-one needs for several years.

These are, as I began, cumbersome ways
to kill a man. Simpler, direct, and much more neat
is to see that he is living somewhere in the middle
of the twentieth century, and leave him there.

Edwin Brock 
Balachandran V, Trivandrum, 17.06.2011


  1. Sensible read there..And the ending lines,there is the gist of all.

  2. I have read this poem earlier too and i marveled at the poet's sarcasm. Right said, we are dying every day :)

  3. Ironic .Read it for the first time .

  4. I remember reading this sometime back.

    I feel this is no sarcasm, but a pertinent ,powerful and explicit way of driving the nail, calling spade a spade.

    It is better to be explicit and drive straight in certain matters which the Poet has done clinically.

  5. Reading this for the first time too. Lovely. I sometimes think I would have preferred living in a different era. But then, life was bad even then. Demons and weapons change, but the sad state of affairs was always there through the ages. Kalyug, right? No choice.

  6. me reading it first time .. jsut 5 ways i ma sure there are umpteen more ways..

    I do feel that i am born in the wrong era...



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