Thank You Thursday salutes poet Kendrew Lascelles, who wrote “The Box”. Below he recites the poem to commemorate his original reading of it on the Smothers Brothers show during the Vietnam War. For some reason, probably because I was a child, I envisioned an old pirate chest, bound with yards of old chain and a huge padlock.
I can still envision Lascelles, sitting on a stool with a dark background, quietly reciting his cautionary tale of leaving war alone. The lack of bright lights or flashy background made it all the more spine tingling. The fairy tale beginning evolved into a darker tale, like the original Grimm Brothers stories, with a single line:
But someone did.
Someone opens up the lid and the horrors of war come spilling out of the box. Like any good storyteller, Lascelles shares how to fix it, allowing you to discover the answer is YOU are part of the solution.
Viewers were invited to write in for a free copy, which Mom did…along with 4 million other people. It hung in a frame on the wall of my childhood home and effected me in ways I didn’t realize until I became older. I honestly think the power of that single sentence wove itself into my writing style.
A copy of “The Box” still hangs in my office.