Stone:  A Historical Sonnet by K.S. Fause

Leni Riefenstahl by Alexander Binder

Leni Riefenstahl by Alexander Binder

“Stone” by K.S. Fause

Soldiers appear as though they’re carved of stone;
Something so beautiful yet so destructive;
Tens of thousands in the crowd, all unknown.
His words, his gaze, much too seductive.
A masterpiece only I could create;
Connected to hate, violence, and fear,
Burdens my heart with such a heavy weight.
All is shattered that I held close and dear.
How was I to know what he had planned?
I’m an artist, not a politician.
No one knew how far his terror had spanned.
He hungered for power, recognition.
Like a dam buckling under pressure,
Millions died because of this oppressor.

About Leni Riefenstahl

Triumph_des_Willens_poster

Poster for the 1935 film Triumph des Willens. The poster art copyright is believed to belong to the distributor of the film, Universum Film AG, the publisher of the film or the graphic artist.

Leni Riefenstahl (1903—2003) is known for two documentary films she made for Hitler: Triumph of the Will (Triumph des Willens) and Olympia.  While she claimed to be an apolitical artist, her nationalistic vision of Germany’s traditions served to idealize the cause of Hitler’s regime.  After being arrested by the Allies, Riefenstahl portrayed herself as young director who folded to the pressure to make films for the Nazi Party and claimed that she didn’t recognize the goals of the Third Reich until it was too late.  She refused to be held accountable for her role in the Holocaust and upheld that her films were not propaganda but art.

Photo of Leni Riefenstahl via Wikimedia Commons.

Poster for film via Wikimedia Commons.

A Snapshot of the Borden Murders (1892)

Lizzie Borden (July 19, 1860 – June 1, 1927)

Meet Lizzie Borden.  Accused of murdering her parents with a hatchet on August 4, 1892, but found not guilty, the double murders still have not been solved.  My fictional short story entitled “The Borden Spinsters,” revolves around the theory that Lizzie, her sister Emma, and the Bordens’ maid Bridget conspired together to murder Andrew and Abby Borden.  Two of three committed the actual murders in my tale.  You’d have to read my story to find out which lady didn’t wield a hatchet.

From left to right:  Lizzie Borden, Emma Borden, and Bridget Sullivan.

From left to right: Lizzie Borden, Emma Borden, and Bridget Sullivan.

Some quick “real” facts about the murders:

  • Stepmom Abby Borden was struck 18 or 19 times in the back of the head with a hatchet.
  • Andrew Borden was killed by ten blows to the face, one of which split his eye in half.
  • Lizzie and Maid Bridget were the only ones at the house at the time of the murders.
  • Only one policeman showed up to the crime scene.  The others on the force were attending an annual picnic. (Others came later)
  • Lizzie’s alibi changed several times, but a doctor had given her morphine to calm her nerves.
  • Maid Bridget’s alibi was that she was vomiting outside from eating five-day-old mutton that was left rotting in the heat of the kitchen.
  • The house still stands today in Fall River, Massachusetts.
  • Andrew was worth around $5 million at the time of his murder.
The Borden household at 92 Second Street in Fall River, Massachusetts

The Borden house at 92 Second Street in Fall River, Massachusetts