It’s no longer a Sweet Treat – Hideko Sueoka

“I have an interest in ekphrastic poetry and bought your book, Eva and George: Sketches in Pen and Brush which inspired me to write the poem below. It was a good chance for me to make a poem based on your war poem ‘Turnip Winter: 1917’. When I read it, soon my grandmother’s tale came up to mind: the hard time of WWII in Japan. So my poem relates to WWII in Japan: a sort of war poem. At that time, there was a serious problem of a shortage of food. People wanted to eat rice but couldn’t. Thus, people ate sweet potatoes that was harvested much more than rice.” Hideko Sueoka

It’s No Longer A Sweet Treat

A lack of food was endless during WWII.
Anyone starved anywhere, similarly
to the Turnip Winter. Instead of a turnip
a sweet potato was a staple diet.
No more death, never wage war.
Terror made each night longer.
Everyone ate sweet potatoes as dinner
below a bare bulb, instead of rice
without a murmur in the ustulate world.
No more death, never wage war.

eva-and-george-coverEva and George – Sketches in Pen and Brush (Pindrop Press, 2013) 978-0957329034, £7.99
A poetic account of the life of the artist George Grosz told through the voice of his wife, Eva Peter. An affecting sequence, Morley impresses with a startling account of  a private and public existence in a Germany transforming itself after the First World War. Stark images of despots and outcasts mirror the artist’s paintings, but Morley’s engaging account of passion and malice, and dramatic exploration of Grosz’s inspiration, adds more colour to a richly imaginative collection. Poetry Book Society

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