War Poetry
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Author:  Marion Arnott [ Mon Feb 15, 2016 6:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: War Poetry

Vlamertinghe: Passing the Chateau

'And all her silken flanks with garlands drest' -
But we are coming to the sacrifice.
Must those flowers who are not yet gone West?
May those flowers who live with death and lice?

This must be the floweriest place
That earth allows; the queenly face
Of the proud mansion borrows grace for grace
Spite of those brute guns lowing at the skies.

Bold great daisies' golden lights,
Bubbling roses' pinks and whites -
Such a gay carpet! poppies by the million;
Such damask! such vermilion!
But if you ask me, mate, the choice of colour
Is scarcely right; this red should have been duller.

(written in July 1917)

Edmund Blunden

Author:  Marion Arnott [ Mon Feb 22, 2016 5:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: War Poetry

The Long War For Peace

Less passionate the long war throws
its burning thorn about all men,
caught in one grief, we share one wound,
and cry one dialect of pain.

We have forgot who fired the house
Whose easy mischief spilled first blood
Under one raging roof we lie
The fault no longer understood
But as our twisted arms embrace the desert where our cities stood
Death's family likeness in each face must show at last our brotherhood.

Laurie Lee

Author:  Marion Arnott [ Mon Feb 29, 2016 5:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: War Poetry

Moment Of War

It is night like a red rag
drawn across the eyes

the flesh is bitterly pinned
to desperate vgilance

the blood is stuttering with fear

O praise the security of worms
in cool crumbs of sol.
flatter the hidden sap
and the lost infertilized spawn of fish!

The hands melt with weakness
into the gun's hot iron

the body melts with pity,

the face is braced for wounds
the odour and the kiss of final pain.

O envy the peace of women
giving birth and love like toys
into the hands of men!

The mouth chatters with pale curses

the bowels struggle like a nest of rats

the feet wish they were grass
spaced quietly

O Christ and Mother!

But darkness opens like a knife for you
and you are marked down by your pulsing brain

and isolated

and your breathing is the blast, the bullet,
and the final sky.


Author:  Marion Arnott [ Mon Apr 11, 2016 6:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: War Poetry

I Am Goya
Andrei Voznesensky

I am Goya

of the bare field, by the enemy's beak gouged

till the craters of my eyes gape

I am grief

I am the tongue

of war, the embers of cities

on the snows of the year 1941

I am hunger

I am the gullet

of a woman hanged whose body like a bell

tolled over a blank square

I am Goya

O grapes of wrath!

I have hurled westward

the ashes of the uninvited guest!

and hammered stars into the unforgetting sky--like nails

I am Goya


From "An Arrow in the Wall: Selected Poetry and Prose" by Andrei Voznesensky, edited by William Jay Smith and F.D. Reeve (An Owl Book/Henry Holt: 344 pp., $10.95)

Author:  Marion Arnott [ Fri Jun 24, 2016 12:41 am ]
Post subject:  Re: War Poetry

Went the day well?
We died and never knew.
But, well or ill, Freedom,
We died for you.

Epitaph by John Edmonds Maxwell 1918

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