Live Ideas Interview: Tyler Horton

Behind the Piece with Tyler Horton, author of “The Blood We Share”

Tyler Horton, a sophomore double majoring in English and Political Science, wrote a piece titled “The Blood we Share”. This poem is based on the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Your published piece is titled “The Blood We Share”, can you please tell us what this poem is about and why you wrote it?

My poem is about the Ukrainian war and the sympathetic feelings one might have toward the deaths of many innocent lives. I wrote it because I am anti-war. I also wrote it because it is applicable to all wars since the beginning of time. The savagery of killing for political reasons disgusts me regardless of my affiliation within politics and I feel others have the same outlook within our society. 

Why did you choose to write a poem instead of an essay– or a short story?

I have a rough past with poetry. I have never felt like I could adequately write it, however, I don’t believe raw emotion can be expressed through short stories and essays. Our language is inherently business focused and it requires manipulation to turn it into emotion. I don’t feel like I could manipulate words as effectively outside of a poem and thus, “The Blood We Share” is born. 

Does this piece relate to your field of study? If so, please explain how or why? 

It does now, but it didn’t at the time. When I wrote it, I was only recently introduced to the field of education but I have always had political events in the back of my mind. The idea that the war was framed as a political event set me on the path to creating the piece. It relates now, to both of my fields of study. It relates to English as it is a timeless poem that can be analyzed in many contexts. One thing I did when I had it peer-reviewed is I saw the reaction to the piece without having them know the context of it. It got many reactions, all with one key similarity: sadness. As for political science, it is a piece written in direct response to the war in Ukraine, an event that is still being talked about within the courses, and recently, the department of political science held a seminar regarding the one-year anniversary of the war in Ukraine.  

“The idea that the war was framed as a political event set me on the path to creating the piece. It relates now, to both of my fields of study. It relates to English as it is a timeless poem that can be analyzed in many contexts.”

(AP Photo/Mstyslav Chernov)

You wrote this as a reaction to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Do you have any connections to either one of these countries? 

I have no connection to either one and that’s the conceptual framework for the short poem. It is meant to stick with you in many situations in which meaningless killing happens.  I didn’t have to research much. It was all over the news, with videos of bombings and people having their arms and legs detached. The suffering. It still bums me out to think about it.

“The Blood We Share” can be found in the Fall 2022 Edition of Live Ideas. You can also read Tyler’s poem below!

The lives of the Common
May never feel
A Mother’s broken heart
Whose foreign pain
May never heal
And now?
A Son
who will not come home
And still?
A conflict
To which lost Souls roam
And yet,
There is but skin and blood and bone
As We pass
while no smoke
Floods Our lungs
No fiery hell
Burns Our tongues
May one tear be shed
For Those
Whose blood We share

The K-State Primary Texts Certificate Program provides students with an opportunity to take part in a conversation with some of the best thinkers humankind has produced. This Primary Texts Program sponsors and runs the Live Ideas: Undergraduate Primary Texts Journal. As a result, the journal intends to embody the spirit and goals of the program by encouraging students to engage with and create their own primary texts.

Supposing is good, but finding out is better.” –Mark Twain

K-State students can earn a Primary Texts Certificate while fulfilling their requirements, or earn a stand-alone certificate. You can take courses emphasizing original works instead of textbooks. Instead of reading only a textbook in Physics, read selections from Galileo and Einstein. Instead of an American Government textbook, read James Madison and Thomas Jefferson. Obtain the intellectual flexibility to be a lifelong learner, an attribute highly valued in the workforce in today’s rapidly changing economy. Primary Texts students also go on to graduate school, law school, divinity school and other programs where analytical and communications skills are highly valued.

Visit the Primary Texts Certificate Program website to learn more!

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