Before you boil and burst
in vicious fits and fists
it starts as itching,
harbingers in crawl —
creatures, spiders
inching foot by foot
along your spine…

before they firework
in red-hot rage
fire and ferocious fury
you may have
a lasting lucid moment
to save your soul.

Anger by Pieter Bruegel the elder

Today Sarah wants us to think about harbingers in our poem at dVerse, and I thought about the harbinger of anger in my mini-series on the seven deadly vices and the woodcuts by Pieter Bruegel the elder.
January 29, 2019

24 responses to “Anger

  1. There’s some effective alliteration here, Bjorn – all those fiery “f”s in the second stanza really fizz with agitation. I like the thought of a pause to save one’s soul.

  2. I wasn’t expecting that! You’ve outdone yourself Björn, with this harbinger of anger and its boiling, bursting, itching and fireworking insects. I love the horror of the Bruegel image but I’m not sure I’d be able to find a lucid moment let alone save my soul!

  3. This is like all the fire and brimstone orations of preachers through the ages! Love all that alliteration–I imagine someone saying this and the spit flying from his mouth. 🙂 Great image to go with it, too.

  4. Oh you’ve explained the rising temper so well here….in such a visceral way…the itching, crawling, rising…and then the eruption. Sometimes it’s just night to impossible to stop those little critters from crawling within our skin to erupt in a rage.

  5. It does hammer us like a poetic alliterate sermon; but very effectively. I’ve had difficulty with anger management all my life, so I can relate, brother.

  6. all those creepy crawlies tingling your spine to explosion. yes, one must pray for the grace of a “lasting lucid moment” (love that phrase).

  7. What vivid description! An aspect of my illness involves the sensation of bug crawling on skin and biting – it freaks me out as I am not fond of creepy crawlies. Your poem described it well

  8. Being a placid sought of soul, I rarely experience anger.
    But when I do – it is as you write.
    I don’t like it (the anger), seeing it as a lack of control.
    But is my control harmful (to me)?

    Anna :o]

  9. Such harbingers are gatekeepers, asking, do you really want to go there? Grace is that two second pause between the thought and the deed.

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