A literary approach – Meg Cormack

Meg Cormack took a literary approach to this subject in her examination of the methodology of a novel we read in class, HHhH, crafting a poem based on her interpretation. A detailed description of her concept for her work is provided below:

“In many ways, Laurent Binet’s novel, if it can be classified as such, stands out less for its content than for its style and structure. HHhH accounts the rise and fall of Reinhard Heydrich. While intriguing, the persona created by the interjections of the speaker, presumably a portrayal of Binet, becomes more dynamic than that of his subject. Here, figurative language creates fluid imagery. Equally, however, the segmentation of short chapters focusing on blunt ideas creates succinctness. Combining these with Binet’s constant tangents, veering from one idea and eventually circling back, shows how the crux of Heydrich in the context of the Holocaust, can be inferred by analysing word choice and placement. To present my inferences, I have written a reflective sestina. This poem is composed of six stanzas of sextains, followed by a tercet, with a recurrent pattern of words ending each line: lexical repetition. This is a form demonstrating substantial order: such as Binet’s blunt transitions and succinct passages. However, the lack of rhyme, rhythm or consistent punctuation creates obscurity: such as Binet’s personal interjections. Equally, the sestina is known for passionate imagery while distancing the speaker from described emotions. This reflects how Binet’s text chooses to show focus on the inflictor, Heydrich and his actions, before the feelings of the inflicted. To this end, just as Binet’s choices of words and word placement reveal his meaning, so do mine.“


In His Crypt, There Was Everything

Not the hero but the target is hate

Dark and twisted, from an iron heart

Running a river of ribbons and cut-up glass hands

Grasping and clasping moments of hope

Towards a new day of glory risen out of the hurt

Of finally knowing that Himmler’s brain is called Heydrich

A vision of calm and pitiful peace was Heydrich

As the most beautiful city was disfigured by outbursts of hate

For a conference of pleasantries was to decide the hurt

That was to befall a nation, awaiting the nature of its heart

On the night when they dreamt of hearing hope

Calling out from the cutter of halves and the having of hands

With open arms and fisted hands

A final solution is teased from iron of Heydrich

Concocted grief to fulfil the hole of last year’s hope

One proposed ghetto, a fear of disease from religious hate

Stronger than iron through a never ending residual heart

Left over from school days where a paper cut was hurt

The project was sterility for industrialized hurt

And yet the high-ranking language and callused hands

A master of masses in the murder of the heart

Where bombs in hundreds, imploding from Heydrich

Before any order of passed-over hate

In the case of courses or bloomings of hope

Minutes were taken and de-cored was hope

A back felt the shadow pass robustly past the hurt

And never, not once in the abbreviated thoughts of hate

Did the seas of sorrow tide in the reel of aching hands

To tie a knot together against the tethered Heydrich

Looping inwards and out towards ambushing the heart

A governmental exile became the ruling heart

A discontent of possession to strengthen troops of hope

While all the while caressing the mechanic dream of Heydrich

None could smell the victory that would cure the dawn of hurt

And yet, there was a lingering of blood upon the hands

Of those employed in fear paid in diamonds cut from hate

Not the heart but the soul is hurt

When robbed of hope and harmed by hands

While inherently human, Heydrich, marks history’s h with hate

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