The Poetry of Days of Hate 6

by Drew Baumgartner

Days of Hate 6

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

en·jamb·ment
/inˈjambmənt, enˈjam(b)mənt/
noun

  1. (in verse) the continuation of a sentence without a pause beyond the end of a line, couplet, or stanza.

Comics has its share of unique jargon, but much of the vocabulary we use when analyzing it is borrowed. More often than not, we’re borrowing language from the world of film and photography, where we might understand issues of the relative location and sizes of images within the panel as matters of placing a camera in a physical space. We’ll also draw parallels to prose, as the language — and especially narrative modes — of comics can often resemble that of a novel. But prose isn’t the only literary media, and while it’s lamentably rare, comics can draw from the world of poetry, as well. Aleš Kot and Danijel Žeželj’s Days of Hate has always lent itself to elegant turns of phrase, but canny use of the decidedly poetic device of enjambment turns issue 6 into a goddamn love poem.

The poem comes in Huian’s narration, which Kot breaks up into boxes with little regard for punctuation — in a way that doesn’t make sense as anything other than poetry:

Poetry

Actually, this sequence might better illustrate the stream-of-consciousness nature of Huian’s narration, since complete the lack of punctuation maybe obscures the enjambment, but I loved it too much not to include. Here’s a clearer example of enjambment:

never the sounds

These line/stanza/box breaks exist only to split up sentences, separating clauses in a way that draws out attention to the words themselves. I don’t feel fully qualified to analyze the poem itself (though the repetition and development of the phrase “I am deathless” strikes even me as powerful), but even recognizing it as an almost anthemic love poem is enough to give it symbolic power I wouldn’t normally ascribe to narration. Kot is drawing upon an underutilized set of tools in the comics world, and the results are astoundingly unique.

The conversation doesn’t stop there. What do you wanna talk about from this issue?

2 comments on “The Poetry of Days of Hate 6

  1. Interesting thing about your comparison to poetry. Poetry is the language of Love, so fitting for this issue.

    Though to me, the big part is the colours. Days of Hate is the best coloured book on the stand.

    I love how pink is introduced as a new colour introduced, either completely dominating the page in grand moments of Love or spoltched on top of the duller colours of fascist America, a spark that cannot be crushed like everything else. It is a great choice of colour. Not only does the addition of a new colour add to the visual storytelling (the final page is a fantastic example of this) but pink has a colour is loaded with symbolic value. It is the colour of romance. But it is also feminine coded, which is especially meaningful for a queer romance between two women.

    The story has been structured to this reveal. The hidden secret that Amanda and Xing are still in love and on each other’s side. Love is often used to represent resistance in dystopia stories, all the way back to the original dystopia novel, Zamyatin’s We. Though it has added meaning here by being queer love, something that is already, unfortunately, political. And so, the reveal of their secret resistance through their continued queer love in the homophobic world of Days of Hate adds also reveals a new colour.

    Because just as this dystopia can’t kill love, it can’t kill the colour pink. It is part of this world, and it’s very existence is resistance

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