"Holmes Was Working Hard Over a Chemical Investigation" by Sidney Paget Two Poems on Propaganda, by Susan Jarvis Bryant The Society August 9, 2021 Culture, Poetry 53 Comments . Inklings The clues are there. They skulk between the lines. They lurk in spin and smirk in murky spiel. The clues are there. They leer in subtle signs. They lounge in lies and lace the dicey deal. The clues are there. They strain the untrained brain. They pester questing minds with raw alarm. The clues are there. They send the sane insane. They snake through lakes of fakery and charm. They tease and taunt. They haunt the daunted eye. They loom in tombs and scribe their jibes in stone. They strike the sleuth with truth the duped deny. They crawl beneath the skin and scrawl on bone. The clues are in our history’s DNA. They’re in the price the clueless always pay. . . Cui Bono? “The further society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it.” —Selwyn Duke What if those the powers oppose just happen to be right? What if those in ivory towers are paid to smear and slight The word of those who search for facts then act on what they find To bring the truth and proof to all believers rendered blind By pious propaganda sold as governmental care? What if those the powers oppose are honest and aware? An honest voice will make the choice to do the honest thing Regardless of the consequences honesty will bring. Some lose their job, some lose their home, some lose their very breath, Decrying all the wily lies that sing of freedom’s death. What if those the powers oppose possess the golden key To free the mind of humankind and lock up tyranny? Asking this will help the just weigh up and ascertain: When it comes to selling care who has the most to gain— Those saintly politicians and their angels in Big Tech With saviors in Big Pharma cashing in the public check; Or is it those the powers oppose—the silenced, shamed and mocked, The cancelled, muzzled, blasted, beaten, branded, bashed and blocked? . Cui Bono: Latin for “Who stands to gain?” . . Susan Jarvis Bryant is from Kent, England. She is now an American citizen living on the coastal plains of Texas. Susan has poetry published in the UK webzine, Lighten Up On Line, The Daily Mail, and Openings (anthologies of poems by Open University Poets). NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets. The Society of Classical Poets does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments. CODEC News:Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 53 Responses Sally Cook August 9, 2021 Susan, As usual you are standing up for truth. Each citizen has a sacred duty to choose an individual path. Any who run away from this to follow a crowd will surely negate their own rights. What if we make what turns out to be a wrong choice? Well, then we must live or die with the consequences. Nothing trite here; only the truth, which shines through your work and makes it good. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant August 10, 2021 Sally, I love your free spirit and your common sense approach which spells out clearly exactly what freedom means – the right to make the wrong choice! C.S. Lewis said: Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive… To be ‘cured’ against one’s will… of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason… to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals. Although, George Lionel won’t be ‘cured’ of fleas against his will… he dictates the flea drop terms which always involves a sumptuous bowl of grilled salmon and much lap-lounging pampering after the drops have been administered. Thank you very much for your kind words of wisdom. Reply Paul Erlandson August 9, 2021 Bravo, Susan! “Inklings” seems a bit more accessible to me in terms of immediately being able to take it in. But “Cui Bono” has that wonderful slam-dunk last line. Both are full of sane reasoning and sound a needed alarm. Thank you! Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant August 10, 2021 Paul, thank you very much. I’m glad you liked the poems. I had such fun with ‘Inklings’ and ‘Cui Bono?’ just called out my name and simply begged to be written. I simply had to do it! Reply Brian Yapko August 9, 2021 Susan, I always (figuratively) clap my hands when I see new work of yours published on-line and these two tour de force poems do not disappoint! As always, you so brilliantly channel your righteous anger into poetry which is technically adept and challenging in the inconvenient truths you present. Well done! Of the two, “Inklings” is my favorite, both because the universal truth concerning human nature which you describe is deeply important and because your unexpected choice of a sonnet form for this subject matter creates (at least for me) a delicious cognitive dissonance which I think subtly supports the theme of the piece – how easily misinformation is digested by people so long as it’s packaged attractively! Which is not to say that I don’t also admire your Cui Bono poem. (As a quick aside, I found the meter worked best if I pronounced the word “power” with an English rather than American accent.) As for subject: my lawyering days have taught me to “follow the money’ when trying to analyze wrongdoing and motives and you present your compelling case with cold, hard facts and linguistic verve. The iambic heptameter creates the momentum of an on-coming train which strikes – almost violently – in that last couplet. I admire both of these poems and thank you for an excellent – and thought-provoking – read. Reply Dave etchell August 9, 2021 more excellent poems Susan Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant August 10, 2021 Dave, coming from a great sonneteer, this is high praise indeed. I think everyone on this site would benefit from reading some of your works. I love them and would enjoy reading them on the pages of SCP. Susan Jarvis Bryant August 10, 2021 Brian, it’s always lovely to get a comment from you. You always manage to explain exactly where I’m going and what I’m striving for with my poetry. I particularly like your take on ‘Inklings’. Your delightful term; “delicious cognitive dissonance”, poetic in itself, describes my sonnet much better than I could have. I like to surprise. I like to swathe the sour in the sweet seduction of a form that doesn’t quite match the subject matter. I often think this cheeky little deviance has the desired effect of getting my point across with greater clout… at least, I hope so. I appreciate your eagle legal eye on ‘Cui Bono’ That was exactly what I was trying to do – advise people to ‘follow the money’. I’m thrilled I put forward a good case. Thank you very much for your fine eye and spot on analysis of my quirky poetry. I’m smiling broadly. Reply Brian Yapko August 10, 2021 “Cheeky little deviance!” My goodness but you do have a way with words! Mike Bryant August 10, 2021 Brian, I am acquainted with a few cheeky little deviants… and a couple of cheeky big deviants as well! Tonia Kalouria August 9, 2021 (… We ALL stand to gain when we read your talented works.) Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant August 10, 2021 Tonia, what a lovely thing to say. I’m thrilled you enjoyed the poems and I’m glad you appreciate my message. Your words spur me on! Thank you! Reply Cynthia Erlandson August 9, 2021 Great job again, Susan! You are surely a master of internal rhyme! Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant August 10, 2021 Thank you very much, Cynthia. There are many fine members on SCP, including your good self, who excel at internal rhyme. I’m happy I’m on a site that appreciates this literary device… it’s not too popular elsewhere. 🙂 Reply Martin Rizley August 9, 2021 Very well crafted, enjoyable poems, Susan, calling people to do what must be done for freedom to be defended against its self-serving enemies– exercise discernment and critical judgment in the face of deceitful propaganda, maintain personal integrity, and show courage by being willing to act on one´s convictions, speaking truth in the face of lies, and taking a stand for truth, no matter how unpopular that stand may be. There is no question that certain powerful forces in our day are wanting to install little by little a dictatorial, controlling, freedom-restricting form of global governance; and those who love freedom– “those the powers oppose”– must be willing to speak out against every subtle step that is taken to move society in the direction of slavery. As the old adage says, “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.” Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant August 10, 2021 Martin, you have laid out clearly, concisely and beautifully my intent with these two poems. It’s certainly not a popular stance to take and I have suffered somewhat… but, I refuse to let lies slither by without lifting them up to the light for all to see. Whether blind eyes are turned, enlightened eyes are grateful, or conniving eyes are focused in on me with loathing, I cannot help but do what I do and, for me, poetry is an amazing medium to use to get my message across. Martin, I thank you for your continued encouragement and inspiration. Reply Jerilyn Nash August 9, 2021 As always your work is wonderful; your thoughts inspiring! Thank you! L&L, Jeri Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant August 10, 2021 Hello Jerilyn, great to see you back in the comments section of SCP, and thank you very much for your words of encouragement! Reply Jeff Eardley August 9, 2021 Susan, not a lot to add to previous comments. These are two poems of the highest order and thank you again for a most thoughtful read today. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant August 10, 2021 Jeff, it’s great to hear from you and thank you, as ever, for your kind words. I hope you’re not in the middle of a BBQ summer and the sun is shining on you and yours. Mike and I have some spare rays here that we’re sending your way for tomorrow. Reply Julian D. Woodruff August 9, 2021 The virtuosity with language is especially strong in your 1st, Susan. The 2nd appeals to me because it is more agent-oriented. Anyway, Both are great. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant August 10, 2021 Julian, I’m over the moon you like my poems. The meter of Cui Bono challenged me a little, but I love a challenge. That’s what makes poetry such fun! Thank you! Reply Margaret Coats August 10, 2021 Susan, thank you as always for thinking your lines out carefully before you put them into these verses that dance with sound and rhythm. “When it comes to selling care” reminds me of a now elderly doctor who has always chafed at “standard of care” because it means he cannot individualize his prescriptions for the patient. He must first use the “standard of care” option, or his judgment is considered defective. Only when the standard fails, sometimes considerably to the detriment of the patient, can he use his expertise to correct the situation, even though he knew best from the start. In “Inklings,” I think of the vast number of intelligent people who have lived under communism, and how the always-present clues to propaganda “pestered questing minds with raw alarm” and still do where those regimes remain in power, or are coming to power as globalism moves forward. Your lines read quickly, but are very much worth considering slowly. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant August 10, 2021 Margaret, your “standard of care” story (which is blatant neglect and pills, pills, pills) resonates with me. Mike had health issues a couple of years ago and this is exactly how he was treated… to his detriment. Thank goodness we had the nous to notice and act upon it before it was too late. Mike didn’t even have the luxury of the doctor in question suggesting a specialist. We did our own research, discovered the problem, and after life-saving surgery, Mike’s here today on half a blood pressure tablet instead of five! That’s why it’s important never to trust authoritative bodies that have huge financial interests at stake. Isn’t it also interesting to note that people from oppressed countries like Cuba, people who recognize the insidious nature of propaganda, are swiftly shut down by our powers that be? It’s because they don’t want the people to wake up to the path they’re on… let’s hope it’s not too late to take a different turn. Perhaps, just perhaps, little poems like ‘Inklings’ might help people to hear the snake in the grass and see the monster in the mandates. Thank you very much for your appreciation and your encouragement. It means a lot! Reply Paul Freeman August 10, 2021 I enjoyed these poems, especially if you look from the point of view that everyone these days seems to believe they’re the custodians of the truth, when sometimes there are shades of truth, or in time we become aware of another truth. Thank you for the reads. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant August 10, 2021 Thank you for your thought-provoking words, Paul. I tend to go with the truth that’s immutable… like X and Y chromosomes, calling a riot a riot, and calling an experiment an experiment. My poems are really a call for openness. In order to sort fiction from fact, we need to have every piece of information available to us all the time – especially every scientific find using the tried and tested scientific method from EVERY scientist. Reply Mike Bryant August 10, 2021 Susan, talk about cui bono… you know there is a problem when the CDC profits from their proclamations. “The CDC is a subsidiary of the pharmaceutical industry. The agency owns more than 20 vaccine patents and purchases and sells $4.1 billion in vaccines annually. Congressman Dave Weldon has pointed out that the primary metric for success across the CDC is how many vaccines the agency sells and how successfully the agency expands its vaccine program—regardless of any negative effects on human health.” -Robert F Kennedy, Jr 2019 And that was as of 2019! How many billions is it now? “In 2021 alone, Pfizer/BioNTech will score $15 billion to $30 billion for COVID-19 vaccine sales, while Moderna could rake in $18 billion to $20 billion and Johnson & Johnson $10 billion.” -Seattle Times I guess it’s getting better and better. The quotes above are immutably true… D.G. Rowe August 10, 2021 Cor! That second poem. Very Kiplingesque, I think, in it’s resounding metrical jaunt and pleasurable thump of rhythm, and the choice of rollicking end-rhyme couplets all couched in a cutting, matter-of-fact statement on the general tumult we find our selves in. I’m detecting a heptametric beat here, would I be correct?… allied with superb internal rhymes, diligent but limited use, it seems to me, of well placed assonance internally, and well driven alliteration. Yes, a rollicking piece. I like your ear, I like the way it works and leads your verse. Cheers. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant August 10, 2021 Mr. Rowe, I really appreciate your comment. I am honoured to have created a ‘Kiplingesque’ poem. I have every admiration for his works. I used to visit Batemans on a regular basis and have always been intrigued and inspired by Kipling’s imagination and his wondrous way with words. Sadly, Kipling is now a “racist”, as is every artist who doesn’t sit pretty with today’s woke agenda. This essay by Evan Mantyk together with the subsequent comments might interest you. In spite of being pulled down so vehemently for my views, I have not changed my mind on Kipling. https://classicalpoets.org/2021/03/04/white-mans-burden-by-rudyard-kipling-a-teaching-tool/ Yes, in ‘Cui Bono’ you do detect a heptametric beat. I love to try different forms and rhythms and had huge fun with this one, which seemed to be the perfect meter for what I had to say. I love the word ‘cor!’ and I love the word ‘rollicking’ – I am thrilled to have both words applied to my poetry. Thank you very much, Mr. Rowe! Reply D.G. Rowe August 10, 2021 Yes, Kipling’s imagination. Mr Salemi writes in his discourse of Fictive Mimesis and it’s pivotal importance in writing quality verse. Kipling exemplifies this to the highest degree and he pulls it off with impenetrable poignancy, and matter-of-fact human insight. The man was a balladeer beyond measure. Folk that decry Kipling are no more than Ideological half-wits, with not an iota of awareness for basic parameters of context. Reading Kipling properly is of no importance to them, if they did they wouldn’t be so crass and soft in the head. Gunga Din is about as good as it gets, I think… Such a visceral, poignant, Cutting, self-abasing, and elevating piece of literature as I’ve ever read. I’m of a London extraction so made it my duty to learn some of the Barrack Room Ballads by heart, as I have the natural accent for it and when one reads aloud Gunga Din, and I mean really reads it in the skin of the story teller remembering his old Regimental Bhisti who saved his life and, for all his dirty hide, the old British soldier knows that it is himself, no question, that wears the dirty hide. But the soft-headed can’t fathom this, see. I could go on and on, but any-how. Cheers, Susan. Susan Jarvis Bryant August 11, 2021 Mr. Rowe, thank you for this, and thank you for reminding me of ‘Gunga Din’. I have just re-read it and I am appalled that he is on the cancel-culture chopping block. Kipling speaks of the human condition with humility and an understanding of the heart and soul of humankind… every aspect – the good, the bad and the ugly. We could all gain an awful lot of wisdom from reading his works. Peter Hartley August 10, 2021 Susan – I don’t know how you can write a poem about propaganda and make it thought-provoking and interesting at the same time, let alone give us two. I must admit I stopped reading the first after the second line to rush ahead and find out what you rhymed spiel with, and then thought I’d better check out all the rest of the rhymes before coming back to read it properly. “They snake through lakes of fakery and charm”. Sometimes at a first reading I think, “is that a teensy-weensy bit contrived?” And then I realise, no there’s nothing contrived or counterfeit about any of the abundant assonance and consonance and alliteration that you employ, but there is a lot of insane jealousy emanating from yours truly. The couplet at the end of the first poem is inspired. The second poem, “Cui bono” made my head hurt for the first few lines before I managed (I think) to digest it fully. As Sally remarks at the top of this column, “Nothing trite here, only truth,” and once again the final couplet is B R I L L I A N T ! ! ! Enod Llew!!! Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant August 10, 2021 Yrteop Ni Dneirf Enif Ym Ouy Knaht!!! I am thrilled you like my poems. I too, thought ‘Inklings’ was a tad too loquacious and more than a smidgen overblown for the discerning poetic palate, which was exactly what I was striving for – darn it! My poetry often makes the head hurt, the heart pound, and, in some, a sprinkling of irritation brings goosebumps to the surface. I think my words should come with a warning. Seriously, Peter, you have made my afternoon! Reply Peter Hartley August 10, 2021 Susan – I feel I need to come back to a matter I raised in my earlier comment. “Inklings” a little loquacious? Not a bit of it; euphuistic? Not at all. I suppose that what I mean when I say that your poetry is not contrived is that it doesn’t have the appearance of being contrived: it doesn’t bear the evidence of your workings out in the way that a pictorial artist’s preliminary studies may do, or a sculptor’s maquette, or an architect’s elevation may show the time and effort he went into in order to produce a building that will long outlive his memory. Your poetry IS “contrived,” of course, in the sense that it has been worked, and considerably worked, and worked over again. But your contrivance is not in evidence as something that engages you in immense effort. Your assonance, alliteration, consonance, etc don’t give the impression that they have involved you in a great deal of lucubration, far from it. They are very evident at a first reading, almost a trademark of your work. Only a gibbon or a chimpanzee could possibly think it is too much, or not worth the effort, “Mons parturient ut nascetur ridiculus mus” (Margaret will correct me if one of the few bits of Horace that I know is a bit rusty). But it IS worth the effort because the effort truly looks effortless. Your piling up of one piece of assonance onto another and onto another looks as though it has been carried out at a normal reader’s pace in its construction, almost extempore, and with a joy that sings from the page. It shows a delight in the manipulation of words and the language that is breathtaking in its adeptness and intensely pictorial and accurately descriptive to the reader in its results, yet again, as I say, looks effortless. And it gets better with every poem you write. Pudgy gluts almost seem amateurish compared to the stuff you are churning out now, and, apparently, at breakneck speed. Yes your poetry IS “contrived”, as all good poetry MUST be, the poetic devices are blatant, of course, but that for me is the greatest characteristic of your poetry and the feature, above all else, that you must preserve at all costs. Jerilyn Nash August 11, 2021 DITTO WHAT PETER SAID so very eloquently!!! Thank you for expressing my strongest feelings about Susan’s poetry! Susan Jarvis Bryant August 11, 2021 Peter, this isn’t just a fabulous comment – it’s a linguistic treasure trove of sumptuous words that shine like highly polished gems strung together to create a piece of literary jewellery that I am proud to wear today. All will see its gleam as I strut my alliterative stuff and beam with the pompous grin of an SCP diva… when I stop giggling at Horace that is. Peter, when I write my book, I will simply have to dedicate an entire chapter to your scintillating comments… though, they’ll outshine my pudgy gluts, they simply have to be read. Your comments are an uplifting tonic in plague days of lethargy. 😉 Mike Bryant August 10, 2021 Susan, as always I am gobsmacked by your beautiful and meaningful work. By the way, you do know that you’re not supposed ask any questions, right? Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant August 10, 2021 Thank you, Mike. On the questions front… since when have I ever been known not to question everything?! I’m only too grateful that you never fail to provide me with answers that inspire my poetry. Reply Peter Hartley August 11, 2021 Mike, in your capacity as moderator, would you kindly extirpate the chimpanzee from underneath my name in the comment above. It should read “baboon”, I think Reply Mike Bryant August 11, 2021 Done, Peter. By the way, was Horace a comedian? Peter Hartley August 11, 2021 Mike – Thank you for getting rid of the chimp for me. Horace, our most quoted Latin poet, isn’t as funny as he thinks he is. He also wrote “Dulce et decorum est, pro patria mori”, the biggest lie in history! Sandi Christie August 10, 2021 Susan, your internal rhyme scheme and mastery of word magic always wins my applause. Thank you for sharing. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant August 11, 2021 Sandi, thank you! I adore words and simply love the magic of them when they sing and dance together in a display that offers that little touch of eye-popping theatre to a message that one might otherwise turn away from. Reply David Watt August 11, 2021 Susan, ‘Inklings’ is another fine example of using internal rhyme to great effect. ‘Cui Bono’ neatly poses the correct questions, deftly leading us to conclude that we’re being pushed and prodded to conform without questioning the underlying motive behind the narrative. The final line of this poem is a “b” ripper. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant August 11, 2021 David, thank you! I love the “b” observation… I had to hold back on a few extra Bs in the interest of getting my poem to the SCP audience. lol Reply Yael August 11, 2021 A nice pair, Susan. I applaud your whimsical approach to the subject. Propaganda tends to only work on people who beg to be lied to, mainly because they honestly hate the truth. Humor is a great vehicle for spreading truthful ideas because it’s more inviting and approachable than a serious brow-beating. I hope your poetry will get through to some fence-sitters before the owner of the fence comes to collect the rent. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant August 20, 2021 Yael, I’m sorry I overlooked your wonderful comment. Thank you very much for your appreciation, and, as always, insightful and thought-provoking observations. I do believe you’re right when you say “Propaganda tends to only work on people who beg to be lied to, mainly because they honestly hate the truth”. I have provided peer reviewed scientific documentation from scientists (who aren’t the government’s chosen “experts”) to substantiate concerns, only to have them ignored in favour of opinion pieces from the MSM. It astounds me. I also love your fence-sitting observation… I think I see the landlord on the horizon! Reply Daniel Kemper August 17, 2021 On behalf of your well-crafted works, that I thoroughly enjoy, though late to add much to the conversation, I propose renaming the CCP virus the Cui bono virus. This is evidenced by a recent Epoch Times article showing the inexplicable plummeting efficacy of the vaccines. Over only a month, without delta or theta coming near the difference, their efficacy plummeted. The obvious reason: they’re doing something that in-effect waters down the vaccine so that boosters are required. $$$$$ When medicine was socialized, the watchmen were lost. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant August 20, 2021 Daniel, “renaming the CCP virus the Cui bono virus” is a great idea… I wonder how many out there would follow the money? I astounds me that this information can be found but so many overlook it in favor of the mainstream narrative… why?! Your closing statement says it all. Thank you! Reply Satyananda Sarangi August 18, 2021 Dear Susan ma’am, Greetings! Both poems are spot on; though the second one was what I needed to read. Here’s this thing about your poetry – every now and then, you come up with gems; there’re humorous ones, then there’re deep ones like this. The day’s made. Best wishes. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant August 20, 2021 Satyananda, thank you very much for dropping by and thank you for your appreciation. I’m glad you enjoyed “Cui Bono” – never has it been more important to investigate those benefiting from what ails the globe today… that is where all the answers lie. Reply Mike Bryant September 4, 2021 Your Poetry Poems are like walls of bricks. They’re satisfying as they stand. Yours, however, are a mix Of water, cement, time and sand, And tiny tiles of meanings meant. Each cut ceramic has a shade Of color, tongue, of sound and scent. They’re words, of course, and when they’re made To tightly fit upon the wall The seams and courses disappear As visions merge and empires fall Together – in the spells we hear. Happy Birthday Susan Reply Mrs. Bryant September 4, 2021 ❤️ Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. Δ This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.