THE VOICE OF WANT.
BY DAVID LITTLE.
Title:The Voice of Want
Publication:The Blackburn Times
Date:August 16th 1862
This poem detailing the effects of poverty on ordinary people reveals several aspects of its subject including the shame of reliance on charity and the dehumanising element of a life in thrall to hunger. There is an obvious but slightly disguised reference to the international cause of this regional misery when the final stanza castigates those who ‘take his brother’s breath’. The idea of brother fighting brother was a common trope during the American Civil War and had particular religious relevance in relation to the story of Cain and Abel. – SR