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October 7, 2013 / ljbradburn-Smith

Is Hell…

A warning?

Something to make us behave?

A prison?




Inside us?


A Myth?


Run by the Devil?

Lack of understanding?

Our worst fears personified?




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  1. Christine / Oct 7 2013 4:21 pm

    When I was younger, there was a priest who like to say, and I think he was quoting someone, “Hell is the supreme awareness of being alone.”

    Ever since I first heard him say that, I’ve always agreed. You can get through anything as long as you have someone you can talk to, and is always there for you, no matter how bad things get.

    • ljbradburn / Oct 24 2013 12:32 pm

      That is how I feel too, I have a strange fear of being alone. When I was at University if my housemates all went home I wouldn’t stay there on my own, i’d be straight back to my Mum’s house. I think having people to talk to is what gets me through most days 🙂

  2. calmgrove / Oct 11 2013 5:13 pm

    Very thoughtful. There are, of course, loads of definitions of hell. One of my favourites is by Jean-Paul Sartre, whose play Huis Clos (usually translated, ominously, as ‘No Exit’) impressed me years ago as a student: “Hell is other people” one character says. If you’ve ever been stuck in A&E this might ring bells.

    By the way, your poem visually looks a little like a village cross, or war memorial in outline. Or even Arthur’s sword in the stone. Significant?

    • ljbradburn / Oct 24 2013 12:24 pm

      I wish it was significant, i’m afraid I didn’t think of that at the time but I have started to think about the shapes of my poems a bit more now.

      How very true, in that case and given Christine’s comment about being alone also being hell I suppose heaven is also other people. I can surely relate to the A&E scenario. I missed out one: hell is queuing for hours 😉

      • calmgrove / Oct 24 2013 12:36 pm

        I wasn’t 100% serious about the shape of your poem, but there is as you might know a kind of verse composition called concrete poetry. The most famous one is the ‘The Mouse’s Tale’ in Alice, but the Wikipedia entry gives some more examples.

        This formal kind of poetry — where the visuals are tied up with the meaning of the words — starts to shade into art.

  3. ljbradburn / Oct 24 2013 12:45 pm

    I think it is interesting though to consider all elements of what you write. I have always loved finding out how different people view the world, shape is never something I think about where as my best friend is very visual person, being an artist, and probably would have spotted it straight away!

    I’m pretty sure that I have seen those before, not for a long time though, it’s an interesting concept. I’d like to experiment with lots of different types of writing, just have to be brave enough first:-)

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