I have continued to learn more about the secret war in Laos during the Vietnam War after discovering Sisavanh Phouthavong Houghton’s work last week. And through this, I have discovered many more incredible artists who have used the horrors of war to inspire beautiful works of art. And then I came across “The Last War Poem” by Bryan Thao Worra and subsequently had to reevaluate everything I’ve previously said about war inspiring art. Because make no mistake, this is a beautiful work of art. But this poem is also searing and visceral, and the anger and weariness behind the words cut deep.
“There is no justice from poetry- Any veteran can tell you that.”
Perhaps there is no justice from poetry. But words are powerful. Even when they make you rethink the cost of creating art out of trauma. Hopefully for this particular artist, these will be the last words that Bryan Thao Worra will write about this particular war.
Suggestions for artists I should check out? Please contact me with your ideas. I hope you enjoyed your daily helping of art!