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Blog - Dolly Sen

Forward, the society bites Brigade!


I recently had a mental health crisis and now am medicated for a while, which pleases everyone around me but has left me lacking in creativity. Hopefully it won’t be for long. So I have to hijack other people’s work and tweak it to make it timely and resonant. This time I am doing it with Tennyson’s famous poem about battles. The battle to live is a current one for so many people. I will always fight against a tyrannical charge, even the face of hopeless odds. Because it is better to fight and die than die without a fight.

We will always be in the way!

We will always be in the way!

Half a fatigue, half a fatigue,
Half a fatigue onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the disabled six hundred.
“Forward, the Endless Night Brigade!
“Dead people don’t claim,” he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the disabled six hundred.

“Forward, the society bites Brigade!”
Was there a claimant dismay’d?
Not tho’ everyone knew
The DWP had blunder’d:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs is to go to the benefits assessment  and die:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the disabled six hundred.

Poverty to right of them,
Death to left of them,
Benefits cut in front of them
Volley’d and plundered;
Storm’d at the disabled and unwell,
Boldly they pushed them well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Died the disabled six hundred.

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Bobby Baker

BRILLIANT! Does it need to actually happen like a re-enactment? If so can I join in? I’ve got a lot of nifty walking sticks that could come in handy… Hope you feel better soon x

Jo-anne Cox

Dolly this work is outstanding , powerful and very poignant , I love the picture and it doesn’t make it anyless that you have adapted Tennyson’s poem to todays attacks on disabled people. I think it makes it even more powerful.