Osama Bin Laden & Stephen Crane

American Author Stephen Crane (1871-1900)

As some of you may know, I was recently honoured to serve Her Majesty in Australia, which along with India, The United States of America, Kuwait, and Bhutan, I still consider to be part of the British Empire (Paul Williams agrees with this opinion).

In that cities’ Museum of Art, I came across a work based on the following poem by the American writer Stephen Crane, who died of Tuberculosis aged twenty – eight (I always capitalise ‘Tuberculosis’, not for the reason that it is the name of a disease but for the same reason that I capitalise ‘Death’ as an entity rather than a state. Though we in the West are rid of it, it is still a huge killer of the poor in the rest of the world):

 In the desert
 I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
 Who, squatting upon the ground,
 Held his heart in his hands,
 And ate of it.
 I said: "Is it good, friend?"
 "It is bitter-bitter," he answered;
 "But I like it
 Because it is bitter,
 And because it is my heart."

For some reason, it instantly made me think of Osama Bin Laden…


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