"Fireworks & Combat Trauma Politiku"
Posted on July 4th, 2010 by Craig Newmark
First, the deal with "politiku" is that it's haiku, with a political or similar bent. You can say a lot in a few words.
Susanna Speier came up with this idea, and I really like it. As she defines:
Politiku is concise and poetic political commentary, that fuses the
5-7-5 syllabic structure of traditional Japanese haiku with online
interactive political commentary.
She reflects on what the Fourth of July means to veterans, while noting there are consequences that we often forget:
… most Americans still honor the 4th in some way involving family and
fireworks. It’s an altogether awesome holiday — one of the few in this
country that truly everyone can be a part of!
For soldiers dealing with combat trauma, however, the explosive
blasts can trigger a more visceral fight/flight response because of
their similarities to the blasts and explosions experienced in Iraq
and/or Afghanistan. Being surrounded by explicit and implicit displays
of patriotism and anti-patriotism can further augment a shell shocked
combat vet’s sense of displacement.
I want to be clear that Politiku is not therapy. A Politiku
writing workshop for vets dealing with combat trauma might be of value
to some because it is a journalistic and literary based technique
would enable these individuals to condense their complicated, timely and
multifaceted experiences into simple and accessible piece of poetry
for them to choose to share with others or not.
Susanna also cites the work of
Lily Casura, author of the website HealingCombatTrauma.com
for additional info on the topic.