|Google Images: Seashell in Mui Ne Vietnam|
© Ginny Brannan written in 1972
|The future I envisioned: Children playing on the beach. Nha Trang Vietnam.|
|What the reality was in 1972, Google Images: Vietnam coastline, 1972|
Just a little background on the climate of the era: In 1972 I was just starting my Junior year of High School. For at least a decade and a half, the Vietnam war had been spoon fed to us on the nightly news, excerpts edited for our consumption. By 1972 I was aware of some of the realities, but mostly what was going on here at home, all of the antiwar protests and the fact that people I actually knew were being drafted now. The songs of the era: Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind" and "Masters of War," Creedence's "Fortunate Son", Edwin Starr's "War" ('what is it good for? Absolutely nothin'), Lennon's "Give Peace a Chance" all spoke to the disenchantment of this war that had lingered much too long.
In our Junior year, one of my English subjects was poetry, and one of the assignments was to write a poem.My somewhat sheltered small-town Vermont life left me blissfully ignorant of the realities of the war on the other side of the world.
My poem, above, speaks a lot to my ownnaiveté. My teacher panned the poem, part of her notes had to do with me "personifying" an inanimate object (the seashell). I do have to wonder if the underlying factor had more to do with my sympathetic views of that war. Hindsight is always 20-20, you know…