I never saw a wild thing
Sorry for itself
A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough
Without ever having felt sorry for itself
DH Lawrence was one of the most infamous victims of the censor`s scissors, with not just his sexually explicit novel Lady Chatterley`s Lover banned in the UK until 1960, but a great many of his poems were rendered virtually unreadable by censorship. Although never conscripted into the First World War due to ill-health, his war poems were heavily critical of the British war effort, and it`s morally ruinous effects on a society duped into believing it was doing the right thing by standing up to tyranny, when in fact, society itself was being tyrannized by governmental political propaganda. Needless to say, such sentiments fell foul of the powers-that-be, and were either never published, or were cut to shreds by censorship, until rendered harmless, and bereft of their original meaning. Lawrence`s writings on war and sex were censored by publisher timidity afraid of governmental backlash, and also of the reaction of a public mentally conditioned into believing their “boys” were fighting for a just cause. This meant, that virtually all writers critical of the war effort were rendered unpublishable.
Self Pity is a poem which is short and to the point; the point being that our self awareness may be an emotional luxury not enjoyed by our non-human neighbours on planet Earth. We can look up at the sky and dream of the heavens and stars circling overhead, but a small bird is too preoccupied with the brute realities of survival to develop abstract theory of the who, why and wherefore afforded to the human mind with time on it`s hands. When you begin to think about your role, and relevance to the particular point and time in space which you occupy, then uncertainty, and finally fear develops. The small bird freezing to death on it`s wintery bower, doesn`t have the mental capacity or concern, to pass away the time fretting on whether it`s bum would look big in a pair of avian sized jeans. It`s all relative: self pity is the natural consequence of intelligent thought; but for Lawrence, the little bird perhaps deserves greater consideration and praise for lacking the finer elements of human intellect, with it`s infinite capacity for knowingly, and joyfully, inflicting unimaginable pain on other living things. A game bird indeed.