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Showing posts from October, 2018

Did we really do that?

Did we really do that? It’s easy to ask this question as we look back and see what terrible things happened in the past. Not just happened – but were thought of as normal, unexceptional: what people like you and me were quite happy to countenance, if not actually do. Well, perhaps some people sometimes felt that was a bit harsh… who knows? But for the most part, decent folk like you and me just accepted it – that’s how it is, life goes on, why change how we do things and I’ve got quite enough to do already. Slavery’s an obvious example of course. I recently wrote a poem about another: the scold’s bridle, an iron helmet with a plate pressing down on the tongue, used on (what were considered to be) vociferous women – yes, almost invariably women.   I was of course pleased that my poem won a prize, but my consequent revisiting the writing of it and the research stirred me up all over again, with a renewed and heightened sense of astonishment and anger. (The poem’s on