Summer of ’89

– By Sudhanva Shetty (Informals Team)

Heartless squander of poverty’s wealth

That led to revolution that had no end;

Hardship so gory that woman, man dealt

To beget bread for thirst to quench –

Long live the Revolution.


Fat Louis, most hated man in the state,

Austrian mistress despised above the rest;

Antique clergy – old foretellers of fate;

Noble men of burning blood and high taste;

Faultless masses subject to abject hate –

Hail the winds of Revolution.


They demand freedom of speech, thought, lies,

For platitude, grandeur, and grand new times.

Era of change, epicentre in the city of mimes,

To hasten progress and panacea under the skies –

Arrive the Revolution.


The bars of aristocracy will burn in the flames

Of history and never again be made the same.

For how could the inferno of ideas be made tame?

After from the blood-red ashes rose the name

That would reign in terror for freedom’s claim –

Rise the Revolution.


Mayhem for ideas and mayhem for ration,

Democracy’s double rainbow for the prison,

The Incorruptible to erase the endless lesion!

But army of passion against the Wars’ legions

Inhibit the Revolution.


To enhance the quarry they call young France

To drink toil’s wine and in the battlefield dance:

Celebrate the freedom and the might of the lance

Under the Directory, in the epoch of the farce.

O liberty that liberates and liberty and mars –

Spread the Revolution.


The trash of the West is the Revolution’s treasure.

Five who tried to rule, and one who’ll rule forever:

Herald the bugles – Democracy’s under the weather!

Heart feather, mind Alexander: cometh the Islander –

Long live the Revolution!

Set the Revolution.


This poem begins with a description of the Estates-General, highlights the rise of Robespierre , talks of the Revolutionary wars that France fought against Europe, condemns the inept Directory, and ends, as the actual Revolution did, with the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte. 


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