Thursday, 4 July 2013

"We will not repeat that..."

For this week’s exercise, we took the title of this post- from a conversation about past exercises- as our prompt. Here’s what I churned out in 10 minutes flat.

A factory in China
In the middle of spring
Working for designers
Making dresses and things
Conditions like a prison
Workers handling the vests
Burning with the friction
For the demands of the west
A closed-off room
Electrics badly placed
A tragedy is waiting
A disaster they will face
A machine overheats
When a room is closed off
The flames hit the sheets
above a forty-foot drop
the factory, the company
and the people are burned
Is this what has to happen
Before we all learn?
Yet in England there’s a shower
And the people take cover
In the high street clothes shop
Charging lower than any other.

Hmm. A few issues. I did this under pressure, spending the first five minutes thinking what the fuck do I write for this? Then this news story came to mind  (an incident which actually occurred in Bangladesh, not China). I also ran out of time and didn’t get a chance to properly contrast rainy, freezing England with scorched and arid Bangladesh (or China).

Furthermore, I wanted to tie the poem to the title prompt: “We will not repeat that”. Tragically, it has taken a disaster like this for Bangladesh to commit to improving their health and safety record. Here’s hoping that the country will work towards implementing safety measures to stop deadly incidents such as these from occurring.

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