War and Peace

war and peace

illustration: Elena Caldera


On being interviewed by Terry Southern,
The author of ‘Candy’ and ‘The Magic Christian’
Henry Green, the novelist, was asked
How he got his ideas for his books.

Green said that he’d once asked someone
Serving with him in the Fire Service,
In London during the high point of the Blitz,
What was his idea of paradise?

As bombs were exploding and buildings were blazing
His fellow Fire Officer fell into a reverie
Then replied: “Lying in bed on a summer morning
“With the window open, eating hot buttered toast

war and peace 2
“With cunty fingers.” This, Green said,
Gave me the idea for my novel ‘Loving’…”
Buildings may topple and bodies may turn to ashes
But earthly ecstasy trumps God as an escape route.

The Fire Officer knew that thanks to love’s fervor –
To its feverish hunger and frenetic explorations –
You could lose yourself in another human being
And maybe even lose consciousness.



Heathcote Williams

By Heathcote Williams

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