This note expresses my basic attitudes to the
subject of the conflicts in Yugoslavia
(Kosovo/Serbia/Montenegro) and war in
general, but see, also, "Beliefs" section.
The way human beings inflict horror and suffering upon
themselves both fascinates and scares me. The tendency to
violence is the flaw in human personality that maximises human
misery and endangers the entire species. As such it deserves
our serious and continuing attention.
Wars in Kosovo and the rest of Serbia, to which NATO
nations contributed, demonstrate the havoc and wretchedness
that our tendency to violence can cause and are matters that
concern all responsible people.
My poems are simply a personal attempt to record and
respond to the conflicts. Like most UK citizens I was involved
daily throughout the war watching it on TV, listening to the
radio and reading about it in the newspapers. I am involved as
a tax payer, voter, and supporter (or otherwise) of a NATO
In some poems I set up other people’s ideas for
consideration. So that there may be no confusion I would like
to state that I unreservedly condemn: 1) the systematic racial
abuse, removal of human rights, arbitrary arrest, torture,
destruction of homes and murder of Kosovo Albanians by
Serbs over many years; 2) the violence of the KLA against
Serbs; 3) the bombing of Yugoslavia by NATO; 4) the
murder and violence against Serbs, Roma, and Gorani carried
out by Kosovo Albanians from June 99 onwards. I would
suggest that all the violence has served only to make situations
I hope that the questions raised in my poetry and verse will
provoke thought about violent conflicts and help, in a small
way, to encourage the development of wiser international
My thanks to John Bedford for proof reading the text in a very
narrow time slot, and to the editors of Day by Day who were
the first to publish four of the Kosovo War Poems.
David Roberts, 18 January 2000"