From In Parenthesis, part 7
And to Private Ball it came as if a rigid beam of great weight
flailed about his calves, caught from behind by ballista-baulk
let fly or aft-beam slewed to clout gunnel-walker
below below below.
When golden vanities make about,
you’ve got no legs to stand on.
He thought it disproportionate in its violence considering
the fragility of us.
The warm fluid percolates between his toes and his left boot
fills, as when you tread in a puddle–he crawled away in the
David Jones was born in south-east London to a Welsh father and a London-born mother. As his father had been discouraged from speaking Welsh as a child, David Jones did not speak the language. Yet Wales, Welsh and Welsh mythology would remain a significant component artistic influence.
He studied at Camberwell College of Arts, where his work was described as ‘leaving everything out except the magic.’ He enlisted at the beginning of World War One, serving from 1915 to 1918. He served longer on the Western Front than any other major war poet in the UK. This shaped his whole life.
He had traumatic breakdowns through out his life. Certain breakdowns would then make turning points in his artistic practice.