‘Hymn’: Poet Anthony Anaxagorou’s Response to the South Atlantic Task Force Memorial, by David Kindersley (1985)
we’ve created this war
my lives. having it bigger than
brothers in arms. like we never
died on the same field. let our
names sink into wood. remains
enough to break the parts we
need most. stick a knife
between the pack. blood travels
either way. master the sinning
of Adam. meet me by my echo
chamber. I’ll be wearing my
mess outside the cenotaph. on
the steps of the cathedral I’ll
bring all I can carry. on the wall
we can talk triceps &leaders&
what they did – anger & I love
you like I made you. I love you
like none of this could be your
[Please see the video for the print layout of the poem]
About Anthony Anaxagorou
Anthony Anaxagorou is a British-born Cypriot poet, fiction writer, essayist, publisher and poetry educator. His poetry has been published in POETRY, The Poetry Review, Poetry London, New Statesman, Granta, and elsewhere. His work has also appeared on BBC Newsnight, BBC Radio 4, ITV, Vice UK, Channel 4 and Sky Arts.
His second collection After the Formalities published with Penned in the Margins is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and was shortlisted for the 2019 T.S Eliot Prize. It was also a Telegraph and Guardian poetry book of the year.
In 2020 he published How To Write It with Merky Books; a practical guide fused with tips and memoir looking at the politics of writing as well as the craft of poetry and fiction along with the wider publishing industry. He was awarded the 2019 H-100 Award for writing and publishing, and the 2015 Groucho Maverick Award for his poetry and fiction. In 2019 he was made an honorary fellow of the University of Roehampton. Anthony is artistic director of Out-Spoken, a monthly poetry and music night held at London’s Southbank Centre, and publisher of Out-Spoken Press. His forthcoming poetry collection Heritage Aesthetics will be published by Granta later in 2022.
About the Monument
The memorial to the South Atlantic Task Force, in the crypt of St Paul’s Cathedral was designed and created by David Kindersley (1915–1995) and unveiled in 1985. It is made from Cumbrian slate and is notable as the first war memorial in the cathedral not to differentiate the names of those commemorated by rank. The inscription at the top reads, ‘In Honour of the South Atlantic Task Force and to the Abiding Memory of All Those who Gave Their Lives’, with the dates April / June 1982 and an outline of the Falkland Islands below.