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Why I Write

105 words

Why I Write

I write because I could not bear the loss
Of all that makes this world worthwhile and grand:
Apollo, Odin, Vulcan, Perkanus,
Birch forests sprung from European land,
Marble arches, Doric columns, beer halls,
Vast castles perched upon the Thames and Rhine,
Blonde hair caught up in ringlets, Yuletide balls,
Maypoles, Shelley’s poems, Polish honey wine
In hive shaped bottles redolent of bees,
Van Gogh’s sunflowers in antique frames, beef
Wellington, cabbage rolls, bacon, blue cheese,
Saint George, King John, Hermanius. Belief
That such things — small or vast as each one might
Be — must not become lost . . . . is why I write.

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  1. Karsten
    Posted March 22, 2011 at 4:10 am | Permalink

    What a marvellous poem.

    I have long despaired that no good verse would ever be written again after World War Two (some of Ted Hughes’s fine pieces notwithstanding), but I wonder if the predicament of dying White race might not stir some of us toward a New Romanticism — for that is how I would classify Juleigh Howard-Hobson’s evocative poem, as a work of Neo-Romanticism, in the very best sense.

    I love the juxtaposition, “Doric columns, beer halls,” which sets the Classical and the Teutonic alongside one another. And the transition from “Vast castles perched upon the Thames and Rhine” to “Blonde hair caught up in ringlets” is splendid, as it moves smoothly from a description of castles themselves to an image of the archetypal princess who might once have resided in such a castle.

    (One quibble, though: Hermanius? Is this an attempt to blend the two names of the hero, who is usually either termed Arminius or Hermann? It might be wiser to choose one or the other, unless the “Hermanius” coinage is another conscious merging of the classical and the German.)

    This is the second time that I’ve encountered a worthwhile poem in a radical-traditionalist site. The first was “The Crusader,” which I discovered as I was browsing through old issues of TOQ. It’s a little too alliterative, and perhaps some of the wording could be improved, but all in all, a fine piece, blessedly anti-modern.

    I find that both Juleigh Howard-Hobson’s poem and Carl Roland’s touch on similar themes.

  2. kennewick man
    Posted March 22, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    They say a picture paints 1000 words. Here 105 words paint 1000 pictures.

  3. Mimir's Well
    Posted March 22, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    Very invocative of who we are and what we wish to preserve.

  4. Karsten
    Posted March 27, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    This is a late comment on this lovely poem, but has anyone ever published, say, a chapbook of radical-traditionalist poetry? I acknowledge that the market for such a thing would be virtually nil, given that it would appeal to a tiny portion of what is already a small demographic, but I for one would love to see a publication expressing this “New Romanticism.”

    The present poem, and the crusader piece that I mentioned earlier, strike me as two perfect examples of the kinds of works that could fill such a chapbook. Since Mr. Johnson published both, I’d say that he has the right sense of what would make for a stirring volume.

    At the risk of sounding colossally unrealistic, I suggest that it might even spur a revival of the traditional poetic form. If nothing else, it would comprise the first verse created by present-day authors that many of us could actually stand to read . . .

    About a year ago, Alex Kurtagic penned what is both his own best essay ever, and the finest thing that Alt Right has ever published, an essay called “Wanted: Something to Dream”:

    The two poems are among the few examples that I can point to and say that they fulfill the hope that Kurtagic expressed for a new Romanticism to arise among radical traditionalists.

    • Axel Johnston
      Posted March 27, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Permalink


      Juleigh Howard-Hobson has one chapbook out out already, which I believe is almost sold out and up for re-printing later this year. Her next, and even more radical-traditional chapbook of formalist poetry, is coming out this summer. Ravenshalla Arts is the publisher and can be contacted at [email protected]. They specialize in traditionalism, neo-romanticism, and western esoteric/spiritual themes.

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