Soldiers Poems And Quotes

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You sit at the edge of the world, I am in a crater that's no more. Words without letters Standing in the shadow of the door. The moon shines down on a sleeping lizard, Little fish rain from the sky. Outside the window there are soldiers, steeling themselves to die. (Refrain) Kafka sits in a chair by the shore, Thinking for the pendulum that moves the world, it seems. When your heart is closed, The shadow of the unmoving Sphinx, Becomes a knife that pierces your dreams. The drowning girl's fingers Search for the entrance stone, and more. Lifting the hem of her azure dress, She gazes -- at Kafka on the shore
Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore)
Suicide in the trenches: I knew a simple soldier boy Who grinned at life in empty joy, Slept soundly through the lonesome dark, And whistled early with the lark. In winter trenches, cowed and glum With crumps and lice and lack of rum, He put a bullet through his brain. No one spoke of him again. * * * * * You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye Who cheer when soldier lads march by, Sneak home and pray you'll never know The hell where youth and laughter go.
Siegfried Sassoon (The War Poems)
Some say an army of horsemen some an army on foot others say ships laden for war are the fairest things on earth. But I say the fairest sight on this dark earth is the face of the one you love. Nor is it hard to understand: love has humbled the hearts of the proudest queens. And I would rather see you now stepping over my threshold than any soldier greaved in gold or any iron-beaked ship.
Alison Croggon (The Singing (The Books of Pellinor, #4))
You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye Who cheer when soldier lads march by, Sneak home and pray you'll never know The hell where youth and laughter go." "The War Poems
Siegfried Sassoon
there was a soldier in the next room living with his wife and he would soon be going over there to protect me from Hitler so I snapped the radio off and then heard his wife say, "you shouldn't have done that." and the soldier said, "FUCK THAT GUY!" which I thought was a very nice thing for him to tell his wife to do. of course, she never did.
Charles Bukowski (The Last Night of the Earth Poems)
For Jenn At 12 years old I started bleeding with the moon and beating up boys who dreamed of becoming astronauts. I fought with my knuckles white as stars, and left bruises the shape of Salem. There are things we know by heart, and things we don't. At 13 my friend Jen tried to teach me how to blow rings of smoke. I'd watch the nicotine rising from her lips like halos, but I could never make dying beautiful. The sky didn't fill with colors the night I convinced myself veins are kite strings you can only cut free. I suppose I love this life, in spite of my clenched fist. I open my palm and my lifelines look like branches from an Aspen tree, and there are songbirds perched on the tips of my fingers, and I wonder if Beethoven held his breath the first time his fingers touched the keys the same way a soldier holds his breath the first time his finger clicks the trigger. We all have different reasons for forgetting to breathe. But my lungs remember the day my mother took my hand and placed it on her belly and told me the symphony beneath was my baby sister's heartbeat. And I knew life would tremble like the first tear on a prison guard's hardened cheek, like a prayer on a dying man's lips, like a vet holding a full bottle of whisky like an empty gun in a war zone… just take me just take me Sometimes the scales themselves weigh far too much, the heaviness of forever balancing blue sky with red blood. We were all born on days when too many people died in terrible ways, but you still have to call it a birthday. You still have to fall for the prettiest girl on the playground at recess and hope she knows you can hit a baseball further than any boy in the whole third grade and I've been running for home through the windpipe of a man who sings while his hands playing washboard with a spoon on a street corner in New Orleans where every boarded up window is still painted with the words We're Coming Back like a promise to the ocean that we will always keep moving towards the music, the way Basquait slept in a cardboard box to be closer to the rain. Beauty, catch me on your tongue. Thunder, clap us open. The pupils in our eyes were not born to hide beneath their desks. Tonight lay us down to rest in the Arizona desert, then wake us washing the feet of pregnant women who climbed across the border with their bellies aimed towards the sun. I know a thousand things louder than a soldier's gun. I know the heartbeat of his mother. Don't cover your ears, Love. Don't cover your ears, Life. There is a boy writing poems in Central Park and as he writes he moves and his bones become the bars of Mandela's jail cell stretching apart, and there are men playing chess in the December cold who can't tell if the breath rising from the board is their opponents or their own, and there's a woman on the stairwell of the subway swearing she can hear Niagara Falls from her rooftop in Brooklyn, and I'm remembering how Niagara Falls is a city overrun with strip malls and traffic and vendors and one incredibly brave river that makes it all worth it. Ya'll, I know this world is far from perfect. I am not the type to mistake a streetlight for the moon. I know our wounds are deep as the Atlantic. But every ocean has a shoreline and every shoreline has a tide that is constantly returning to wake the songbirds in our hands, to wake the music in our bones, to place one fearless kiss on the mouth of that brave river that has to run through the center of our hearts to find its way home.
Andrea Gibson
They fought the enemy, we fight fat living and self-pity. Shine, o shine, unfalsifying sun, on this sick scene.
Marianne Moore (Complete Poems)
The whole idea of it makes me feel like I'm coming down with something, something worse than any stomach ache or the headaches I get from reading in bad light-- a kind of measles of the spirit, a mumps of the psyche, a disfiguring chicken pox of the soul. You tell me it is too early to be looking back, but that is because you have forgotten the perfect simplicity of being one and the beautiful complexity introduced by two. But I can lie on my bed and remember every digit. At four I was an Arabian wizard. I could make myself invisible by drinking a glass of milk a certain way. At seven I was a soldier, at nine a prince. But now I am mostly at the window watching the late afternoon light. Back then it never fell so solemnly against the side of my tree house, and my bicycle never leaned against the garage as it does today, all the dark blue speed drained out of it. This is the beginning of sadness, I say to myself, as I walk through the universe in my sneakers. It is time to say good-bye to my imaginary friends, time to turn the first big number. It seems only yesterday I used to believe there was nothing under my skin but light. If you cut me I could shine. But now when I fall upon the sidewalks of life, I skin my knees. I bleed.
Billy Collins
Oh, Death was never enemy of ours! We laughed at him, we leagued with him, old chum. No soldier's paid to kick against His powers. We laughed, — knowing that better men would come, And greater wars: when each proud fighter brags He wars on Death, for lives; not men, for flags.
Wilfred Owen
Gratitude ...here at home our faith dwindles political division causes tensions to kindle - we should never forget who stands at the door - who shields us with armor and shall forever more...
Muse (Enigmatic Evolution)
You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye Who cheer when soldier lads march by, Sneak home and pray you’ll never know The hell where youth and laughter go.
Siegfried Sassoon (Counter-Attack and Other Poems)
She was resilient A brave soldier when life tested her It didn't matter that she did strange things like stand tall under the rain letting the drops kiss her skin thinking the storm was romantic It was hard to quiet her not that you would want to when she spoke, it was captivating Her heart was like a candle warm and delicate just what you needed during darkness Sometimes, she'd go off and explore the world test her limits laugh too much cry when humans were cruel It wasn't hard to see why people envied her You'd come to realize she was a lion and she could not be tamed.
M.J. Abraham
Dark clouds are smouldering into red While down the craters morning burns. The dying soldier shifts his head To watch the glory that returns: He lifts his fingers toward the skies Where holy brightness breaks in flame; Radiance reflected in his eyes, And on his lips a whispered name.
Siegfried Sassoon (The War Poems)
There’s more, but I won’t go on. It’s a poem by Rupert Brooke. He was a soldier in the First World War. It helped him in the hellhole of the trenches to think of the things he loved. It helped me too. I made mental lists and followed the things I love, the people I love, back to sanity. I still do.
Louise Penny (Kingdom of the Blind (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #14))
stay curious and stay the brave, strong, unrelenting soldier of love that you are.
Ava
I crawled in a spirit-haunted place Made wild by souls that moan and mourn; And Death leered by with mangled face - Ah God! I prayed, I prayed for dawn.
Arthur Newberry Choyce (Memory Poems Of War And Love)
burning in hell this piece of me fits in nowhere as other people find things to do with their time places to go with one another things to say to each other. Iam burning in hell some place north of Mexico. flowers don’t grow here. I am not like other people other people are like other people. they are all alike: joining grouping huddling they are both gleeful and content andIam burning in hell. my heart is a thousand years old. I am not like other people. I’d die on their picnic grounds smothered by their flags slugged by their songs unloved by their soldiers gored by their humor murdered by their concern. I am not like other people. Iam burning in hell. the hell of myself.
Charles Bukowski (Sifting Through the Madness for the Word, the Line, the Way: New Poems)
I can't understand why dark northern soldiers and light ones are separated into different brigades. The dead are all buried together in hasty mass graves, bones touching.
Margarita Engle (The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba's Struggle for Freedom)
Some say thronging cavalry, some say foot soldiers, others call a fleet the most beautiful of sights the dark earth offers, but I say it's what- ever you love best. . . . . But that reminds me: now my Anactória is gone, and I'd rather see her lovely step, her sparkling glance and her face than gaze on all the troops in Lydia in their chariots and glittering armor.
Sappho (Poems)
I blaze with a deep sullen magic, smell lust like a heron on fire; all words I form into castles then storm them with soldiers of air. What I seek is not there for asking. My armies are fit and well trained. This poet will trust her battalions to fashion her words into blades. At dawn I shall ask them for beauty, for proof that their training went well. At night I shall beg their forgiveness as I cut their throats by the hill. My navies advance through the language, destroyers ablaze in high seas. I soften the island for landings. With words, I enlist a dark army. My poems are my war with the world. I blaze with a deep southern magic. The bombardiers taxi at noon. There is screaming and grief in the mansions and the moon is a heron on fire.
Pat Conroy (The Prince of Tides)
I am made to sow the thistle for wheat; the nettle for a nourishing dainty I have planted a false oath in the earth, it has brought forth a poison tree I have chosen the serpent for a councellor & the dog for a schoolmaster to my children I have blotted out from light & living the dove & the nightingale And I have caused the earthworm to beg from door to door I have taught the thief a secret path into the house of the just I have taught pale artifice to spread his nets upon the morning My heavens are brass my earth is iron my moon a clod of clay My sun a pestilence burning at noon & a vapor of death in night What is the price of Experience do men buy it for a song Or wisdom for a dance in the street? No it is bought with the price Of all that a man hath his house his wife his children Wisdom is sold in the desolate market where none come to buy And in the withered field where the farmer plows for bread in vain It is an easy thing to triumph in the summers sun And in the vintage & to sing on the waggon loaded with corn It is an easy thing to talk of patience to the afflicted To speak the laws of prudence to the houseless wanderer To listen to the hungry ravens cry in wintry season When the red blood is filled with wine & with the marrow of lambs It is an easy thing to laugh at wrathful elements To hear a dog howl at the wintry door, the ox in the slaughter house moan To see a god on every wind & a blessing on every blast To hear the sounds of love in the thunder storm that destroys our enemies house To rejoice in the blight that covers his field, & the sickness that cuts off his children While our olive & vine sing & laugh round our door & our children bring fruits and flowers Then the groans & the dolor are quite forgotten & the slave grinding at the mill And the captive in chains & the poor in the prison, & the soldier in the field When the shattered bone hath laid him groaning among the happier dead It is an easy thing to rejoice in the tents of prosperity Thus could I sing & thus rejoice, but it is not so with me!
William Blake (The Complete Poems)
Soldiers are citizens of death’s grey land, Drawing no dividend from time’s to-morrows. In the great hour of destiny they stand, Each with his feuds, and jealousies, and sorrows.
Siegfried Sassoon (The War Poems)
Si sta come d'autunno sugli alberi le foglie.
Giuseppe Ungaretti
The Spanish Influenza did not originate in Spain. In fact the first recorded case was in the United States, in Kansas, on March 9th, 1918. Beware the Ides of March. But because Spain was neutral in World War I, it did not sensor reports of the disease to the public. To tell the truth then, is to risk being remembered by its fiction. Countless countries laid blame to one another. What the US called the Spanish Influenza, Spain called the French Flu, or the Naples Soldier. What Germans dubbed the Russian Pest, the Russians called Chinese Flu.
Amanda Gorman (Call Us What We Carry: Poems)
Maybe the idea of the world as flat isn't a tribal memory or an archetypal memory, but something far older -- a fox memory, a worm memory, a moss memory. Memory of leaping or crawling or shrugging rootlet by rootlet forward, across the flatness of everything. To perceive of the earth as round needed something else -- standing up! -- that hadn't yet happened. What a wild family! Fox and giraffe and wart hog, of course. But these also: bodies like tiny strings, bodies like blades and blossoms! Cord grass, Christmas fern, soldier moss! And here comes grasshopper, all toes and knees and eyes, over the little mountains of the dust. When I see the black cricket in the woodpile, in autumn, I don't frighten her. And when I see the moss grazing upon the rock, I touch her tenderly, sweet cousin.
Mary Oliver (Winter Hours: Prose, Prose Poems, and Poems)
It was soldier's went marching over the rocks, and still they came in watery flocks, because it was spring and the birds had to come, No doubt that soldier's had to be marching, and that the drums had to be rolling, rolling, rolling
Wallace Stevens
Joseph von Eichendorff’s poem ‘The Soldier’, whose final lines promised:                                And when it is darkest                                [and] I am tired of the earth . . .                                We will storm heaven’s gate.
Nicholas Stargardt (The German War: A Nation Under Arms, 1939-1945)
Two months after marching through Boston, half the regiment was dead; at the dedication, William James could almost hear the bronze Negroes breathe. Their monument sticks like a fishbone in the city's throat. Its Colonel is as lean as a compass-needle. He has an angry wrenlike vigilance, a greyhound's gently tautness; he seems to wince at pleasure, and suffocate for privacy. He is out of bounds now. He rejoices in man's lovely, peculiar power to choose life and die-- when he leads his black soldiers to death, he cannot bend his back.
Robert Lowell (Collected Poems)
Be beautiful, noble, like the antique ant, Who bore the storms as he bore the sun, Wearing neither gown nor helmet, Though he was archbishop and soldier: Wore only his own flesh. ... Trace the tracelessness of the ant, Every ant has reached this perfection. As he comes, so he goes, Flowing as water flows, Essential but secret like a rose.
José García Villa (Doveglion: Collected Poems (Penguin Classics))
The world, once flat to his eyes, now bristled with edges and textures. He saw the tiny grooves of petals and leaves, like fingerprints, their identities written like poems across their surfaces. He saw the slow firecrackers of pine cones, popping and stretching all summer, their stiff armor like soldiers on parade, and also the rolling softness of their sap like happy tears. He understood the flurry of motes, which no longer looked like chaos fogging his vision as it had when he was Birthless. Now he could hear the tune of the world, the song of the wind, and the play of all things in it and he knew now that it was a dance, choreographed down to the smallest antennae thrust into the reeling.
Remy Wilkins (Strays)
Whoever is missing in action turns Into a flower, after he reappears In stories, such as the old people were Telling...
Simeon Dumdum Jr. (Poems: Selected and New, 1982-1997)
We hear men coughing Then the stiff, loaded silence Of coughing no more.
Amanda Gorman (Call Us What We Carry: Poems)
Though all the guns be silenced, each soldier in his home, There is no peace till Love comes, till the meek may safely roam.
C.P. Klapper (The Washington Poems)
There was no text. “Real” poems do not “really” require words. I
Layli Long Soldier (Whereas)
O Deus Ego Amo Te Oh God, I love Thee mightily, Not only for Thy saving me, Nor yet because who love not Thee Must burn throughout eternity. Thou, Thou, my Jesu, once didst me Embrace upon the bitter Tree. For me the nails, the soldier's spear, With injury and insult, bear- In pain all pain exceeding, In sweating and in bleeding, Yea, very death, and that for me A sinner all unheeding! O Jesu, should I not love Thee Who thus hast dealt so lovingly- Not hoping some reward to see, Nor lest I my damnation be; But as Thyself hast loved me, So love I now and always Thee, Because my King alone Thou art, Because, O God, mine own Thou art!
Robert Hugh Benson
A poem by Rudyard Kipling says derisively of people who despise soldiers and police that they make ‘mock o’ uniforms that guard you while you sleep.’ You are likely to have a strong reaction pro or con to this sentiment and how Kipling expressed it, but you will not be able to defend your view with arguments that would convince someone who has the opposite reaction. If you are intellectually sophisticated you mare recognize that your conviction, however strong, cannot be shown to be ‘right,’ but at most reasonable. Yet that recognition will not weaken the strength of your conviction or its influence on your behavior.” 105-06 (quoting Rudyard Kipling, Tommy.)
Richard A. Posner (How Judges Think)
Giants in Jeans Sonnet 25 Wanna know about people's character? Walk around in shabby clothes. Wanna know who's wise, who's egotistical? Be the dumbest despite your brainforce. Never try to impress people. The more you try, the more they lose interest. Nourish your warmth and kindness instead, Those who care will reach out themselves. But always remember one little thing, You can either have life or calculation. Calculate where it's needed, But not in every situation. Lovers and soldiers are the only ones living, Rest of society is just dehydrating.
Abhijit Naskar (Giants in Jeans: 100 Sonnets of United Earth)
I saw one of his comrades led to execution; he had killed a Frenchman. Many years afterwards this little circumstance occasioned me to write my little poem, "The Soldier," which Chamisso translated into German, and which afterwards was included in the illustrated people's books of soldier-songs.
Hans Christian Andersen (True Story of My Life)
QUEEN OF 339 SOLDIERS The Scorpion Queen. Oh great Queen of the Desert. Amidst your throne are 339 Soldiers Your smiles are like lightning, piercing through the soul of men. How your enemies are crushed. You are love. You are danger in the lock. Let your enemies feel your wrath for beauty is your throne. The water that flourishes in the desert. Intelligent like the sun and proud like the moon. Sex is only for the pleasure your soul and those who betray you will feel the sting of your venom. Oh daughter of desert, may your reign be long. Poem by Victor Vote for Peace Obot ©️2021 by VVF
Victor Uzihben
truck…Black soliders returning from American’s wars abroad were tarred and feathered…Black soldiers returning from America’s wars in uniform were castrated and lynched…Brave Black soldiers had their medals of honor retracted and denied   So Truman passed a law not for Black people…we have always been better than the country we served…but to tell the whites who thought it more important to be white than united…that Black people are an integral if not essential part of this nation…And we are to be accepted…and honored…for the historic good wishes and sacrifices we offered America…Not only fifty years ago
Nikki Giovanni (Blues: For All the Changes: New Poems)
I know I am restless, and make others so; I know my words are weapons, full of danger, full of death; (Indeed I am myself the real soldier; It is not he, there, with his bayonet, and not the red-striped artilleryman;) For I confront peace, security, and all the settled laws, to unsettle them; I am more resolute because all have denied me than I could ever have been had all accepted me; I heed not, and have never heeded, either experience, cautions, majorities, nor ridicule; And the threat of what is called hell is little or nothing to me; And the lure of what is called heaven is little or nothing to me.
Walt Whitman (Whitman: Poems)
Doctor's Sonnet A doctor is one who's gentle as a bird, A doctor is one who's brave as a soldier, A doctor is one who's amusing as a clown, A doctor is one who's caring as a mother. Treating the sick is not a comfort job, It is a difficult life without leisure and lure. If all you want are wealth and tranquility, Trade in your medical license for a liquor store. The world is filled with doctors most cold, Many don't practice medicine but self-centricity. Instruments and intellect don't make a doctor, Without warmth all pills lose their efficacy. Healthcare means aid first talk rules later. Better a kindhearted fool than a heartless monster.
Abhijit Naskar (Handcrafted Humanity: 100 Sonnets For A Blunderful World)
The Renaissance did not break completely with mediaeval history and values. Sir Philip Sidney is often considered the model of the perfect Renaissance gentleman. He embodied the mediaeval virtues of the knight (the noble warrior), the lover (the man of passion), and the scholar (the man of learning). His death in 1586, after the Battle of Zutphen, sacrificing the last of his water supply to a wounded soldier, made him a hero. His great sonnet sequence Astrophel and Stella is one of the key texts of the time, distilling the author's virtues and beliefs into the first of the Renaissance love masterpieces. His other great work, Arcadia, is a prose romance interspersed with many poems and songs.
Ronald Carter (The Routledge History of Literature in English: Britain and Ireland)
A Palestinian village whose feudal owner sold it for a kiss through a pane of glass..." Nothing remained of Sireen after the auction apart from you, little prayer rug, because a mother slyly stole you and wrapped up her son who'd been sentenced to cold and weaning - and later to sorrow and longing. It's said there was a village, a very small village, on the border between sun's gate and earth. It's said that the village was twice sold - once for a measure of oil and once for a kiss through a pane of glass. The buyers and sellers rejoiced at its sale, the year the submarine was sunk, in our twentieth century. And in Sireen - the buyers went over the contract - were white-washed houses, lovers, and trees, folk poets, peasants, and children. (But there was no school - and neither tanks nor prisons.) The threshing floors, the colour of golden wine, and the graveyard were a vault meant for life and death, and the vault was sold! People say that there was a village, but Sireen became an earthquake, imprisoned by an amulet as it turned into a banquet - in which the virgins' infants were cooked in their mothers' milk so soldiers and ministers might eat along with civilisation! "And the axe is laid at the root of the tree..." And once again at the root of the tree, as one dear brother denies another and existence. Officer of the orbits... attend, O knight of death, but don't give in - death is behind us and also before us. Knight of death, attend, there is no time to retreat - darkness crowds us and now has turned into a rancid butter, and the forest too is full, the serpents of blood have slithered away and the beaker of our ablution has been sold to a tourist from California! There is no time now for ablution. People say there was a village, but Sireen became an earthquake, imprisoned by an amulet as it turned into a banquet - in which the virgins' infants were cooked in their mothers' milk so soldiers and ministers might eat, along with civilisation!
Samih Al-Qasim (Sadder than Water: New and Selected Poems)
The discipline of a soldier is formed by exercise rather than by study; the talents of a commander are appropriated to those calm though rapid minds, which nature produces to decide the fate of armies and nations: the former is the habit of a life, the latter the glance of a moment; and the battles won by lessons of tactics may be numbered with the epic poems created from the rules of criticism.
Edward Gibbon (The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire 3: 1185-1453)
There is one other wall, of course. One we never speak of. One we never see, One which separates memory from madness. In a place no one offers flowers. THE WALL WITHIN. We permit no visitors. Mine looks like any of a million nameless, brick walls— it stands in the tear-down ghetto of my soul; that part of me which reason avoids for fear of dirtying its clothes and from atop which my sorrow and my rage hurl bottles and invectives at the rolled-up windows of my passing youth. Do you know the wall I mean? —Steve Mason, U.S. Army captain (Vietnam), poet Excerpted from the poem “The Wall Within” by Steve Mason, a decorated Vietnam combat veteran considered the unofficial poet laureate of the Vietnam War. “The Wall Within” was read at the 1984 dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC, and was entered in its entirety into the Congressional Record.
Kevin Sites (The Things They Cannot Say: Stories Soldiers Won't Tell You About What They've Seen, Done or Failed to Do in War)
Before this grief, mountains must bend down And rivers stop, But prison locks are strong, And behind them are the labor-camp bunks And the deadly tedium. For others the fresh breeze is blowing, For others the extravagant sun sets — For us everything is the same, we know nothing, We hear only the keys and their hateful grinding. Only the soldiers' stiff steps. We get up as for early Mass in the city, The savaged city, and coming We meet ourselves, the dead, the unbreathing. The sun is low, the Neva misty, It is only in the distance that hope is singing. The sentence . . . and at once tears, Now everything has been taken, The rest of life, torn from her heart, Knocked backwards by a hoodlum And yet she walks . . . stumbles . . . alone . . . Where are they now, unwilling friends Of years in Hell? What visions do they see in Siberian snow-storms? What hallucinations in the circle of the moon? I send them this goodbye and wish them well.
Anna Akhmatova (Poem Without a Hero & Selected Poems)
I have perceived much beauty In the hoarse oaths that kept our courage straight; Heard music in the silentness of duty; Found peace where shell-storms spouted reddest spate. Nevertheless, except you share With them in hell the sorrowful dark of hell, Whose world is but the trembling of a flare, And heaven but as the highway for a shell, You shall not hear their mirth: You shall not come to think them well content By any jest of mine. These men are worth Your tears: You are not worth their merriment.
Wilfred Owen (The Collected Poems of Wilfred Owen)
Sonnet of Education Competition is for horses, Education is for the human. Either education or competition, You can have only one. Education ought to build character, Not to raise snobs hooked on cash. Love is needed, kindness is needed, It won't come by raising tribal trash. Cash-building education is uneducation, For it only sustains self-absorption. Character-building education is ascension, For it paves the way for true civilization. One can be educated yet a filthy savage. True sign of education lies in selflessness.
Abhijit Naskar (Mücadele Muhabbet: Gospel of An Unarmed Soldier)
The fierce fighting at Fallujah attested to the stalwart nature of the American soldier. In The Iliad a warrior in the front ranks turned to his companion and said, “Let us win glory for ourselves, or yield it to others.” For Greek warriors, there was no true glory if they were not remembered afterward in poem or in song. There will be no true glory for our soldiers in Iraq until they are recognized not as victims, but as aggressive warriors. Stories of their bravery deserved to be recorded and read by the next generation. Unsung, the noblest deed will die.
Bing West (No True Glory: Fallujah and the Struggle in Iraq: A Frontline Account)
Very Like a Whale One thing that literature would be greatly the better for Would be a more restricted employment by authors of simile and metaphor. Authors of all races, be they Greeks, Romans, Teutons or Celts, Can'ts seem just to say that anything is the thing it is but have to go out of their way to say that it is like something else. What foes it mean when we are told That the Assyrian came down like a wolf on the fold? In the first place, George Gordon Byron had had enough experience To know that it probably wasn't just one Assyrian, it was a lot of Assyrians. However, as too many arguments are apt to induce apoplexy and thus hinder longevity, We'll let it pass as one Assyrian for the sake of brevity. Now then, this particular Assyrian, the one whose cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold, Just what does the poet mean when he says he came down like a wolf on the fold? In heaven and earth more than is dreamed of in our philosophy there are a great many things, But i don't imagine that among then there is a wolf with purple and gold cohorts or purple and gold anythings. No, no, Lord Byron, before I'll believe that this Assyrian was actually like a wolf I must have some kind of proof; Did he run on all fours and did he have a hairy tail and a big red mouth and big white teeth and did he say Woof woof? Frankly I think it very unlikely, and all you were entitled to say, at the very most, Was that the Assyrian cohorts came down like a lot of Assyrian cohorts about to destroy the Hebrew host. But that wasn't fancy enough for Lord Byron, oh dear me no, he had to invent a lot of figures of speech and then interpolate them, With the result that whenever you mention Old Testament soldiers to people they say Oh yes, they're the ones that a lot of wolves dressed up in gold and purple ate them. That's the kind of thing that's being done all the time by poets, from Homer to Tennyson; They're always comparing ladies to lilies and veal to venison, And they always say things like that the snow is a white blanket after a winter storm. Oh it is, is it, all right then, you sleep under a six-inch blanket of snow and I'll sleep under a half-inch blanket of unpoetical blanket material and we'll see which one keeps warm, And after that maybe you'll begin to comprehend dimly, What I mean by too much metaphor and simile.
Ogden Nash (The Best of Ogden Nash)
No Love Without Tears (The Sonnet) There is no love without tears. There is no diversity without difference. There is no revolution without smears. There's no justice without inconvenience. There is no development without flaws. There is no dignity without disrespect. There is no learning without falling. There is no heart without heartbreak. There is no path without the thorns. There is no pedestrian without weariness. There is no dream without the hardship. There's no determination without doubtfulness. Only those who have felt excruciating pain, Can help others without expecting any gain.
Abhijit Naskar (Mücadele Muhabbet: Gospel of An Unarmed Soldier)
The person who really writes the minor work is a secret writer who accepts only the dictates of a masterpiece. Our good craftsman writes. He’s absorbed in what takes shape well or badly on the page. His wife, though he doesn’t know it, is watching him. It really is he who’s writing. But if his wife had X-ray vision she would see that instead of being present at an exercise of literary creation, she’s witnessing a session of hypnosis. There’s nothing inside the man who sits there writing. Nothing of himself, I mean. How much better off the poor man would be if he devoted himself to reading. Reading is pleasure and happiness to be alive or sadness to be alive and above all it’s knowledge and questions. Writing, meanwhile, is almost always empty. There’s nothing in the guts of the man who sits there writing. Nothing, I mean to say, that his wife, at a given moment, might recognize. He writes like someone taking dictation. His novel or book of poems, decent, adequate, arises not from an exercise of style or will, as the poor unfortunate believes, but as the result of an exercise of concealment. There must be many books, many lovely pines, to shield from hungry eyes the book that really matters, the wretched cave of our misfortune, the magic flower of winter! Excuse the metaphors. Sometimes, in my excitement, I wax romantic. But listen. Every work that isn’t a masterpiece is, in a sense, a part of a vast camouflage. You’ve been a soldier, I imagine, and you know what I mean. Every book that isn’t a masterpiece is cannon fodder, a slogging foot soldier, a piece to be sacrificed, since in multiple ways it mimics the design of the masterpiece. When I came to this realization, I gave up writing. Still, my mind didn’t stop working. In fact, it worked better when I wasn’t writing. I asked myself: why does a masterpiece need to be hidden? what strange forces wreath it in secrecy and mystery?
Roberto Bolaño (2666)
The Burial of Sir John Moore after Corunna" Not a drum was heard, not a funeral note, As his corse to the rampart we hurried; Not a soldier discharged his farewell shot O’er the grave where our hero we buried. We buried him darkly at dead of night, The sods with our bayonets turning; By the struggling moonbeam’s misty light And the lantern dimly burning. No useless coffin enclosed his breast, Nor in sheet nor in shroud we wound him, But he lay like a warrior taking his rest With his martial cloak around him. Few and short were the prayers we said, And we spoke not a word of sorrow; But we steadfastly gazed on the face that was dead, And we bitterly thought of the morrow. We thought, as we hollowed his narrow bed And smoothed down his lonely pillow, That the foe and the stranger would tread o’er his head, And we far away on the billow! Lightly they’ll talk of the spirit that’s gone And o’er his cold ashes upbraid him, But little he’ll reck, if they let him sleep on In the grave where a Briton has laid him. But half of our heavy task was done When the clock struck the hour for retiring; And we heard the distant and random gun That the foe was sullenly firing. Slowly and sadly we laid him down, From the field of his fame fresh and gory; We carved not a line, and we raised not a stone, But left him alone with his glory.
Charles Wolfe (The Burial of Sir John Moore and Other Poems)
Here are the crossroads where old women come Under the quarter moon to cast their spells, And where young lovers meet to argue out The secret terms of their surrender. It is a place that each sees differently- The salesman scouting, soldiers tramping home, The scholar napping by the riverbank While someone else's fortune drifts downstream. But if you stand at crossroads long enough, Most of the eager world comes strutting by- Businessmen, preachers, cats-all going somewhere, Even the Devil striking up a deal. I used to wonder if they ever got there. Be careful here in choosing where to turn. You learn a lot by staying in one place But never how the story truly ends.
Dana Gioia (Meet Me at the Lighthouse: Poems)
There are two inevitable conditions of life, confronting all of us, which destroy its whole meaning; (1) death, which may at any moment pounce upon each of us; and (2) the transitoriness of all our works, which so soon pass away and leave no trace. Whatever we may do--found companies, build palaces and monuments, write songs and poems--it is all not for long time. Soon it passes away, leaving no trace. And therefore, however we may conceal it from ourselves, we cannot help seeing that the significance of our life cannot lie in our personal fleshly existence, the prey of incurable suffering and inevitable death, nor in any social institution or organization. Whoever you may be who are reading these lines, think of your position and of your duties--not of your position as landowner, merchant, judge, emperor, president, minister, priest, soldier, which has been temporarily allotted you by men, and not of the imaginary duties laid on you by those positions, but of your real positions in eternity as a creature who at the will of Someone has been called out of unconsciousness after an eternity of non-existence to which you may return at any moment at his will. Think of your duties-- not your supposed duties as a landowner to your estate, as a merchant to your business, as emperor, minister, or official to the state, but of your real duties, the duties that follow from your real position as a being called into life and endowed with reason and love.
Leo Tolstoy (The Kingdom of God Is Within You)
CLEANSING CONFLICT What is a saint? One whose wine has turned to vinegar. If you're still wine-drunkenly brave, don't step forward. When your sheep becomes a lion, then come. It is said of hypocrites, "They have considerable valor among themselves!" But they scatter when a real enemy appears. Muhammad told his young soldiers, "There is no courage before an engagement." A drunk foams at the mouth talking about what he will do when he gets his sword drawn, but the chance arrives, and he remains sheathed as an onion. Premeditating, he's eager for wounds. Then his bag gets touched by a needle, and he deflates. What sort of person says that he or she wants to be polished and pure, then complains about being handled roughly? Love is a lawsuit where harsh evidence must be brought in. To settle the case, the judge must see evidence. You've heard that every buried treasure has a snake guarding it. Kiss the snake to discover the treasure! The severe treatment is not toward you, but the qualities that block your growth. A rug beater doesn't beat the rug, but rather the dirt. A horse trainer switches not the horse, but the going wrong. Imprison your mash in a dark vat, so it can become wine. Someone asks, "Don't you worry about God's wrath when you spank a child?" "I'm not spanking my child, but the demon in him." When a mother screams, "Get out of here!" she means the mean part of the child. Don't run from those who scold, and don't turn away from cleansing conflict, or you will remain weak. Also, don't listen to bragging. If you go along with self-importance, the work collapses. Better a small modest team. Sift almonds. Discard the bitter. Sour and sweet sound alike when you pour them out on the rattling tray, but inside they're very different.
Rumi (Jalal ad-Din Muhammad ar-Rumi) (The Soul of Rumi: A New Collection of Ecstatic Poems)
The Crucifixion While you stood there in the chaos, Could you see past all the pain? Past the sword that ripped your soul, To your son's triumphant reign? Did the sands there of Golgotha Scratch lines into your face, Mixing with the blood of Jesus, Dearest Lady, full of grace? While you stayed beneath his shadow, While he hung there on the cross, Could you feel your own wounds bleeding, As his blood fell to the rocks? As the turmoil clutched your saddened soul, Did your heart completely break? Could you hear the soldier cursing When his hammer hit the stake? The Prophecy of Simeon, Had it at last come true, Where the thoughts of many people Would lay bare because of you? Was it when the earth was quaking That reality set in, Your son had died to save our souls, Because of all our sin? I ask you all these questions as I’m leading up to one. Can you forgive me, Blessed Mother, For the dying of your son?
Donna Sue Berry (The Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary: Poems in Honor of Our Lady of Sorrows)
As I Ponder'd in Silence As I ponder'd in silence, Returning upon my poems, considering, lingering long, A Phantom arose before me with distrustful aspect, Terrible in beauty, age, and power, The genius of poets of old lands, As to me directing like flame its eyes, With finger pointing to many immortal songs, And menacing voice, What singest thou? it said, Know'st thou not there is but one theme for ever-enduring bards? And that is the theme of War, the fortune of battles, The making of perfect soldiers. Be it so, then I answer'd, I too haughty Shade also sing war, and a longer and greater one than any, Waged in my book with varying fortune, with flight, advance and retreat, victory deferr'd and wavering, (Yet methinks certain, or as good as certain, at the last,) the field the world, For life and death, for the Body and for the eternal Soul, Lo, I too am come, chanting the chant of battles, I above all promote brave soldiers.
Walt Whitman (The Complete Poems of Walt Whitman)
Government Standing next to my old friend I sense that his soldiers have retreated. And mine? They’re resting their guns on their shoulders talking quietly. I’m hungry, one says. Cheeseburger, says another, and they all decide to go and find some dinner. But the next day, negotiating the too narrow aisles of The Health and Harmony Food Store—when I say, Excuse me, to the woman and her cart of organic chicken and green grapes she pulls the cart not quite far back enough for me to pass, and a small mob in me begins picking up the fruit to throw. So many kingdoms, and in each kingdom, so many people: the disinherited son, the corrupt counselor, the courtesan, the fool. And so many gods—arguing among themselves, over toast, through the lunch salad and on into the long hours of the mild spring afternoon—I’m the god. No, I’m the god. No, I’m the god. I can hardly hear myself over their muttering. How can I discipline my army? They’re exhausted and want more money. How can I disarm when my enemy seems so intent?
Marie Howe (The Kingdom of Ordinary Time: Poems)
War and peace Humanity has fought many wars, But won none, Because even in peace the victors carry its scars, That they can share with no one, Because when they saw their comrade fall, They saw a friend die, When they were smashed against the pitiless wall, The human within them did die, Resurrecting a beast from within, That they try to leave behind, but it walks with them, And becomes their penance for what was not their sin, And then they spend a lifetime with this beast and with them, Whom they lost in the war, Their fellow comrades part of the same legion, And even in times of peace, in dreams the demons of war chase them far, There, where all emotions die, all sentiments sink, a death forsaken region, Where they are cursed to live forever, In the phantoms of war that chase them every day and every night, Because they have seen their fellow comrades die forever, And this aches their inward and memory invoked sight, They maybe soldiers who are meant to kill, But I wonder what they think when they see a fellow human on the other end, The enemy who they shall kill even at the cost of killing their own will, Thus is born the beast within, and for the human that it now feeds on, it is the end!
Javid Ahmad Tak (They Loved in 2075!)
War and peace Humanity has fought many wars, But won none, Because even in peace the victors carry its scars, That they can share with no one, Because when they saw their comrade fall, They saw a friend die, When they were smashed against the pitiless wall, The human within them did die, Resurrecting a beast from within, That they try to leave behind, but it walks with them, And becomes their penance for what was not their sin, And then they spend a lifetime with this beast and with them, Whom they lost in the war, Their fellow comrades part of the same legion, And even in times of peace, in dreams the demons of war chase them far, There, where all emotions die, all sentiments sink, a death forsaken region, Where they are cursed to live forever, In the phantoms of war that chase them every day and every night, Because they have seen their fellow comrades die forever, And this aches their inward and memory invoked sight, They maybe soldiers who are meant to kill, But I wonder what they think when they see a fellow human on the other end, The enemy who they shall kill even even at the cost of killing their own will, Thus is born the beast within and for the human that it now feeds on, it is the end!
Javid Ahmad Tak (They Loved in 2075!)
Kruchina was an archaic word for grief, found mostly in the old folk songs and poems. Kruchina grief was not regular sadness or disappointment with everyday troubles, but rather the existential sorrow about a woman’s lot that never goes away, not even at the happiest of moments.    Masha remembered this song from one of the movies of her youth, when all the movies and books were about the war and patriotism, about the great sacrifice for the future. German soldiers were burning a Russian village. The children screamed, the helpless grandmas and grandpas shrieked, the animals and fowl scattered for their lives. A young German soldier broke into the last izba standing and found two women huddled on a bench. Except for a single candle, the house was dark and it was hard to see what was in the shadowy corner: a trunk or a cradle.    Before the soldiers could reload their guns, the women began to sing “Kruchina.” In the middle of this chaos, time stopped. The soldiers listened as the voices washed over their round helmets and tense shoulders, crept into their machine guns, and spread through their stiffened veins and cold stomachs, like mother’s milk.    Sveta might not have even seen the movie, but she and Masha always sang “Kruchina” when their hearts, one or both, were in the wrong place.
Kseniya Melnik (Snow in May: Stories)
Sharply the menacing wind sweeps over The bending poplars, newly bare, And the dark ribbons of the chimneys Veer downward; flicked by whips of air. Torn posters flutter; coldly sound The boom of trams and the rattle of hooves, And the clerks who hurry to the station Look, shuddering, over the eastern rooves, Thinking, each one, "Here comes the winter! "Please God I keep my job this year!" And bleakly, as the cold strikes through Their entrails like an icy spear, They think of rent, rates, season tickets, Insurance, coal, the skivvy's wages, Boots, school-bills and the next installment Upon the two twin beds from Drage's. For if in careless summer days In groves of Ashtaroth we whored, Repentant now, when winds blow cold, We kneel before our rightful lord; The lord of all, the money-god, Who rules us blood and hand and brain, Who gives the roof that stops the wind, And, giving, takes away again; Who spies with jealous, watchful care, Our thoughts, our dreams, our secret ways, Who picks our words and cuts our clothes, And maps the pattern of our days; Who chills our anger, curbs our hope. And buys our lives and pays with toys, Who claims as tribute broken faith, Accepted insults, muted joys; Who binds with chains the poet's wit, The navvy's strength, the soldier's pride, And lays the sleek, estranging shield Between the lover and his bride.
George Orwell
What If God Is a Creep? What if God is a creep who wishes He was taller who didn't get the girl who picks on people not His own size? What if God laughed when Jesus had second thoughts? What if His sense of order is no more complex than kids playing King of the Hill or Smear the Queer? What if God is really a creep who beats His wife embezzles when He can and jerks off to violent porn? Perhaps God put Darin on earth to help us understand that the very traits of man which survive the longest and determine the fittest are God's own favorite attributes? Maybe He's a boss who expects favors a professor who makes others feel stupid a witness obstructing justice. What if God is really just a creep? Maybe Machiavelli was His inspired son and The Prince remains our most sacred text. What if Hitler sits at God's right hand tended by a heavenly host of bigots, bullies, soldiers and other serial killers who look to an angel name Manson for advice. A God capable of biological brilliance and genetic genius is no more likely to care about justice and kindness than His creations are. Why assume that God likes women any more than men do? Why imagine He wouldn't hurt His children? God's morality might be just as steeped in struggle as accented by abuse as spiced with exploitation and as baked with brutality as our own common recipes. Drink up. One taste and you are in Heaven. If God really is a creep that certainly would explain a lot.
Nancy Boutilier (On the Eighth Day Adam Slept Alone: New Poems)
The Dakota 38 refers to thirty-eight Dakota men who were executed by hanging, under orders from President Abraham Lincoln. To date, this is the largest “legal” mass execution in US history. The hanging took place on December 26, 1862—the day after Christmas. This was the same week that President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. --- These amended and broken treaties are often referred to as the Minnesota Treaties. The word Minnesota comes from mni, which means water; and sota, which means turbid. Synonyms for turbid include muddy, unclear, cloudy, confused, and smoky. Everything is in the language we use. -- Without money, store credit, or rights to hunt beyond their ten-mile tract of land, Dakota people began to starve. The Dakota people were starving. The Dakota people starved. In the preceding sentence, the word “starved” does not need italics for emphasis. -- Dakota warriors organized, struck out, and killed settlers and traders. This revolt is called the Sioux Uprising. Eventually, the US Cavalry came to Mnisota to confront the Uprising. More than one thousand Dakota people were sent to prison. As already mentioned,“Real” poems do not “really” require words. --- I am a citizen of the United States and an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, meaning I am a citizen of the Oglala Lakota Nation—and in this dual citizenship, I must work, I must eat, I must art, I must mother, I must friend, I must listen, I must observe, constantly I must live.
Layli Long Soldier (Whereas)
A bomb here and a bullet there A bomb here and a bullet there, A wall riddled with bullets everywhere, A man dead, a woman crying, A young child crying and for nobody’s sake dying, A building collapsing somewhere, Homes on fire everywhere, A soldier scanning for enemies, A civilian seeking innocence in these wary faces who too are born of fairies, A state of emergency declared in the war torn regions, It is a crisis of all sorts, for humans, for every life form, and for my once familiar flock of pigeons, Feelings of nothingness and nowhere appear to dominate, Because that is what happens to mind when you have nothing to share but only hate, A bullet to kill someone you don't even know, A bomb to destroy a home that for someone is all he/she could ever know, All gone, all lost, all turned to ash, And from the sky a plane falls, it appears to be a fateful crash, Where someone will die soon, And it will be missed by many, and ah the pain of the moon, To not find him anywhere not even in the sky, For when you crash in wars you do not die, A part of lies on Earth and a part of you in the Sky, Confusing the angel of death whether to claim the remains that lie on the Earth or the hopes that died in the Sky, Wars do not end when bullets are not fired and bombs do not fall anymore, Because those who lose their hopes to wars are in a state of war forever and its immortal pain is what their hearts cannot ignore, For a few it is just about a bomb here and a bullet there, Unable to see injured memories and dying hopes everywhere!
Javid Ahmad Tak (They Loved in 2075!)
A bomb here and a bullet there A bomb here and a bullet there, A wall riddled with bullets everywhere, A man dead, a woman crying, A young child crying and for nobody’s sake dying, A building collapsing somewhere, Homes on fire everywhere, A soldier scanning for enemies, A civilian seeking innocence in these wary faces who too are born of fairies, A state of emergency declared in the war torn regions, It is a crisis of all sorts, for humans, for every life form, and for my once familiar flock of pigeons, Feelings of nothingness and nowhere appear to dominate, Because that is what happens to mind when you have nothing to share but only hate, A bullet to kill someone you don't even know, A bomb to destroy a home that for someone is all he/she could ever know, All gone, all lost, all turned to ash, And from the sky a plane falls, it appears to be a fateful crash, Where someone will die soon, And it will be missed by many, and ah the pain of the moon, To not find him anywhere not even in the sky, For when you crash in wars you do not die, A part of you lies on Earth and a part of you hangs somewhere in the Sky, Confusing the angel of death whether to claim the remains that lie on the Earth or the hopes that died in the Sky, Wars do not end when bullets are not fired and bombs do not fall anymore, Because those who lose their hopes to wars are in a state of war forever and its immortal pain is what their hearts cannot ignore, For a few it is just about a bomb here and a bullet there, Unable to see injured memories and dying hopes everywhere!
Javid Ahmad Tak (They Loved in 2075!)
Here there was a cheerful boy At least he created tales and lived in joy. Nursery rhymes his grandmother told, Songs and tales emerged gladly in gold. Caring heart, affection spoke loud as brighter, He made the decision: he would be a writer! Rising laughters, crying tears, many feelings, Inserted everything and nothing was in vain. So he transformed the ugly into beautiful, Tales to amuse and make everyone sane, In there he went, without daydreams or zeal. As such it was born the icon of literature still. No one denied he was exceedingly bountiful. A ballerina loves the soldier in his world, Nothing gets involved in his fairy tales, Dancing from a poor weak boy to a king, Eccentric prince of charm in winged corners! Rare star of sweet tenderness, Sensible and masterful in tenderness, Emchanted kingdom of dreams and candor, Now a divine fire of a soul he shines. Havia um menino alegre porem so Ao menos criava contos e deles vivia Nas historias que contava sua avo, Seus contos surgiam pois ele os via. Carinho nao faltava em seu coracao ator, Havia tomado a decisao: seria escritor! Risos, lagrimas, sentimentos saos, Inseria tudo e nada era em vao. Transformava ate o feio em belo, Inadvertia e divertia com seu elo, Adiante ia, sem devaneios e zelo. Nascia assim o icone da literatura. A bailarina ama o soldado em seu mundo, Nada se interpunha em seus contos de fadas, De pobre menino fraco e cogitabundo, Era principe de encantos em cantos alados! Rara estrela de doce brandura, Sensata e magistral em ternura, Em seu reino de sonhos e candura, No fogo divino de sua alma fulgura.
Ana Claudia Antunes (ACross Tic)
The American Anti-Slavery Society, on the other hand, said the war was “waged solely for the detestable and horrible purpose of extending and perpetuating American slavery throughout the vast territory of Mexico.” A twenty-seven-year-old Boston poet and abolitionist, James Russell Lowell, began writing satirical poems in the Boston Courier (they were later collected as the Biglow Papers). In them, a New England farmer, Hosea Biglow, spoke, in his own dialect, on the war: Ez fer war, I call it murder,—     There you hev it plain an’ flat; I don’t want to go no furder     Than my Testyment fer that. . . . They may talk o’ Freedom’s airy     Tell they’er pupple in the face,— It’s a grand gret cemetary     Fer the barthrights of our race; They jest want this Californy     So’s to lug new slave-states in To abuse ye, an’ to scorn ye,     An’ to plunder ye like sin. The war had barely begun, the summer of 1846, when a writer, Henry David Thoreau, who lived in Concord, Massachusetts, refused to pay his Massachusetts poll tax, denouncing the Mexican war. He was put in jail and spent one night there. His friends, without his consent, paid his tax, and he was released. Two years later, he gave a lecture, “Resistance to Civil Government,” which was then printed as an essay, “Civil Disobedience”: It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right. . . . Law never made men a whit more just; and, by means of their respect for it, even the well-disposed are daily made the agents of injustice. A common and natural result of an undue respect for law is, that you may see a file of soldiers . . . marching in admirable order over hill and dale to the wars, against their wills, ay, against their common sense and consciences, which makes it very steep marching indeed, and produces a palpitation of the heart.
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present)
The Unknown Soldier A tale to tell in bloody rhyme, A story to last ’til the dawn of end’s time. Of a loving boy who left dear home, To bear his countries burdens; her honor to sow. –A common boy, I say, who left kith and kin, To battle der Kaiser and all that was therein. The Arsenal of Democracy was his kind, –To make the world safe–was their call and chime. Trained he thus in the far army camps, Drilled he often in the march and stamp. Laughed he did with new found friends, Lived they together for the noble end. Greyish mottled images clipp’ed and hack´ed– Black and white broke drum Ʀ…ɧ..λ..t…ʮ..m..ȿ —marching armies off to ’ttack. Images scratched, chopped, theatrical exaggerate, Confetti parades, shouts of high praise To where hell would sup and partake with all bon hope as the transport do them take Faded icons board the ship– To steel them away collaged together –joined in spirit and hip. Timeworn humanity of once what was To broker peace in eagles and doves. Mortal clay in the earth but to grapple and smite As warbirds ironed soar in heaven’s light. All called all forward to divinities’ kept date, Heroes all–all aces and fates. Paris–Used to sing and play at some cards, A common Joe everybody knew from own heart. He could have been called ‘the kid’ by the ‘old man,’ But a common private now taking orders to stand. Receiving letters from his shy sweet one, Read them over and over until they faded to none. Trained like hell with his Commander-in-Arms, –To avoid the dangers of a most bloody harm. Aye, this boy was mortal, true enough said, He could be one of thousands alive but now surely dead. How he sang and cried and ate the gruel of rations, And grumbled as soldiers do at war’s great contagions. Out–out to the battle this young did go, To become a man; the world to show. (An ocean away his mother cried so– To return her boy safe as far as the heavens go). Lay he down in trenched hole, With balls bursting overhead upon the knoll. Listened hardnfast to the “Sarge” bearing the news, —“We’re going over soon—” was all he knew. The whistle blew; up and over they went, Charging the Hun, his life to be spent (“Avoid the gas boys that’ll blister yer arse!!”). Running through wires razored and deadened trees, Fell he into a gouge to find in shelter of need (They say he bayoneted one just as he–, face to face in War’s Dance of trialed humanity). A nameless sonnuvabitch shell then did untimely RiiiiiiiP the field asunder in burrrstzʑ–and he tripped. And on the field of battle’s blood did he die, Faceless in a puddle as blurrs of ghosting men shrieked as they were fleeing by–. Perished he alone in the no man’s land, Surrounded by an army of his brother’s teeming bands . . . And a world away a mother sighed, Listened to the rain and lay down and cried. . . . Today lays the grave somber and white, Guarded decades long in both the dark and the light. Silent sentinels watch o’er and with him do walk, Speak they neither; their duty talks. Lone, stark sentries perform the unsmiling task, –Guarding this one dead–at the nation’s bequest. Cared over day and night in both rain or sun, Present changing of the guard and their duty is done (The changing of the guard ’tis poetry motioned A Nation defining itself–telling of rifles twirl-clicking under the intensest of devotions). This poem–of The Unknown, taken thus, Is rend eternal by Divinity’s Iron Trust. How he, a common soldier, gained the estate Of bearing his countries glory unto his unknown fate. Here rests in honored glory a warrior known but to God, Now rests he in peace from the conflict path he trod. He is our friend, our family, brother, our mother’s son –belongs he to us all, For he has stood in our place–heeding God’s final call.
Douglas M. Laurent
Quote from "The Dish Keepers of Honest House" ....TO TWIST THE COLD is easy when its only water you want. Tapping of the toothbrush echoes into Ella's mind like footsteps clacking a cobbled street on a bitter, dry, cold morning. Her mind pushes through sleep her body craves. It catches her head falling into a warm, soft pillow. "Go back to bed," she tells herself. "You're still asleep," Ella mumbles, pushes the blanket off, and sits up. The urgency to move persuades her to keep routines. Water from the faucet runs through paste foam like a miniature waterfall. Ella rubs sleep-deprieved eyes, then the bridge of her nose and glances into the sink. Ella's eyes astutely fixate for one, brief millisecond. Water becomes the burgundy of soldiers exiting the drain. Her mouth drops in shock. The flow turns green. It is like the bubbling fungus of flockless, fishless, stagnating ponds. Within the iridescent glimmer of her thinking -- like a brain losing blood flow, Ella's focus is the flickering flashing of gray, white dust, coal-black shadows and crows lifting from the ground. A half minute or two trails off before her mind returns to reality. Ella grasps a toothbrush between thumb and index finger. She rests the outer palm against the sink's edge, breathes in and then exhales. Tension in the brow subsides, and her chest and shoulders drop; she sighs. Ella stares at pasty foam. It exits the drain as if in a race to clear the sink of negativity -- of all germs, slimy spit, the burgundy of imagined soldiers and oppressive plaque. GRASPING THE SILKY STRAND between her fingers, Ella tucks, pulls and slides the floss gently through her teeth. Her breath is an inch or so of the mirror. Inspections leave her demeanor more alert. Clouding steam of the image tugs her conscience. She gazes into silver glass. Bits of hair loosen from the bun piled at her head's posterior. What transforms is what she imagines. The mirror becomes a window. The window possesses her Soul and Spirit. These two become concerned -- much like they did when dishonest housekeepers disrupted Ella's world in another story. Before her is a glorious bird -- shining-dark-as-coal, shimmering in hues of purple-black and black-greens. It is likened unto The Raven in Edgar Allan Poe's most famous poem of 1845. Instead of interrupting a cold December night with tapping on a chamber door, it rests its claws in the decorative, carved handle of a backrest on a stiff dining chair. It projects an air of humor and concern. It moves its head to and fro while seeking a clearer understanding. Ella studies the bird. It is surrounded in lofty bends and stretches of leafless, acorn-less, nearly lifeless, oak trees. Like fingers and arms these branches reach below. [Perhaps they are reaching for us? Rest assured; if they had designs on us, I would be someplace else, writing about something more pleasant and less frightening. Of course, you would be asleep.] Balanced in the branches is a chair. It is from Ella's childhood home. The chair sways. Ella imagines modern-day pilgrims of a distant shore. Each step is as if Mother Nature will position them upright like dolls, blown from the stability of their plastic, flat, toe-less feet. These pilgrims take fate by the hand. LIFTING A TOWEL and patting her mouth and hands, Ella pulls the towel through the rack. She walks to the bedroom, sits and picks up the newspaper. Thumbing through pages that leave fingertips black, she reads headlines: "Former Dentist Guilty of Health Care Fraud." She flips the page, pinches the tip of her nose and brushes the edge of her chin -- smearing both with ink. In the middle fold directly affront her eyes is another headline: "Dentist Punished for Misconduct." She turns the page. There is yet another: "Dentist guilty of urinating in surgery sink and using contaminated dental instruments on patients." This world contains those who are simply insane! Every profession has those who stray from goals....
Helene Andorre Hinson Staley
We are the music makers, And we are the dreamers of dreams, Wandering by lone sea-breakers, And sitting by desolate streams; — World-losers and world-forsakers, On whom the pale moon gleams: Yet we are the movers and shakers Of the world for ever, it seems. With wonderful deathless ditties We build up the world's great cities, And out of a fabulous story We fashion an empire's glory: One man with a dream, at pleasure, Shall go forth and conquer a crown; And three with a new song's measure Can trample a kingdom down. We, in the ages lying, In the buried past of the earth, Built Nineveh with our sighing, And Babel itself in our mirth; And o'erthrew them with prophesying To the old of the new world's worth; For each age is a dream that is dying, Or one that is coming to birth. A breath of our inspiration Is the life of each generation; A wondrous thing of our dreaming Unearthly, impossible seeming — The soldier, the king, and the peasant Are working together in one, Till our dream shall become their present, And their work in the world be done. They had no vision amazing Of the goodly house they are raising; They had no divine foreshowing Of the land to which they are going: But on one man's soul it hath broken, A light that doth not depart; And his look, or a word he hath spoken, Wrought flame in another man's heart. And therefore to-day is thrilling With a past day's late fulfilling; And the multitudes are enlisted In the faith that their fathers resisted, And, scorning the dream of to-morrow, Are bringing to pass, as they may, In the world, for its joy or its sorrow, The dream that was scorned yesterday. But we, with our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see, Our souls with high music ringing: O men! it must ever be That we dwell, in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. For we are afar with the dawning And the suns that are not yet high, And out of the infinite morning Intrepid you hear us cry — How, spite of your human scorning, Once more God's future draws nigh, And already goes forth the warning That ye of the past must die. Great hail! we cry to the comers From the dazzling unknown shore; Bring us hither your sun and your summers; And renew our world as of yore; You shall teach us your song's new numbers, And things that we dreamed not before: Yea, in spite of a dreamer who slumbers, And a singer who sings no more.
Arthur O'Shaughnessy (Music And Moonlight: Poems And Songs)
Perceptive and valuable personal explorations of time alone include A Book of Silence by Sara Maitland, Party of One by Anneli Rufus, Migrations to Solitude by Sue Halpern, Journal of a Solitude by May Sarton, The Point of Vanishing by Howard Axelrod, Solitude by Robert Kull, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby, A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit, The Story of My Heart by Richard Jefferies, Thoughts in Solitude by Thomas Merton, and the incomparable Walden by Henry David Thoreau. Adventure tales offering superb insight into solitude, both its horror and its beauty, include The Long Way by Bernard Moitessier, The Strange Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst by Nicholas Tomalin and Ron Hall, A Voyage for Madmen by Peter Nichols, Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer, and Alone by Richard E. Byrd. Science-focused books that provided me with further understanding of how solitude affects people include Social by Matthew D. Lieberman, Loneliness by John T. Cacioppo and William Patrick, Quiet by Susan Cain, Neurotribes by Steve Silberman, and An Anthropologist on Mars by Oliver Sacks. Also offering astute ideas about aloneness are Cave in the Snow by Vicki Mackenzie, The Life of Saint Anthony by Saint Athanasius, Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke, the essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson (especially “Nature” and “Self-Reliance”) and Friedrich Nietzsche (especially “Man Alone with Himself”), the verse of William Wordsworth, and the poems of Han-shan, Shih-te, and Wang Fan-chih. It was essential for me to read two of Knight’s favorite books: Notes from the Underground by Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Very Special People by Frederick Drimmer. This book’s epigraph, attributed to Socrates, comes from the C. D. Yonge translation of Diogenes Laërtius’s third-century A.D. work The Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers. The Hermitary website, which offers hundreds of articles on every aspect of hermit life, is an invaluable resource—I spent weeks immersed in the site, though I did not qualify to become a member of the hermit-only chat groups. My longtime researcher, Jeanne Harper, dug up hundreds of reports on hermits and loners throughout history. I was fascinated by the stories of Japanese soldiers who continued fighting World War II for decades on remote Pacific islands, though none seemed to be completely alone for more than a few years at a time. Still, Hiroo Onoda’s No Surrender is a fascinating account.
Michael Finkel (The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit)
There was a warrior once who fought Against man's subtlest, mightiest foe, And more than valiant deeds he wrought T' effect th' enslaver's overthrow. But ah! how dread was his campaign, Forc'd in the wilderness to stray, Lone, hungry, stung with grief and pain, And thus sustain the arduous fray. Prompt at each call from place to place, 'Mid sin's dark shade and sorrow's flow, He sped to save man's erring race, And bear for him the vengeful blow. But when his soldiers saw the strife, When imminent the danger grew, Though 'twas for them he pledg'd his life, Like dastards from the field they flew. Wearied, forsaken, still he strove, And gain'd the glorious victory; Yet such achievements few could move, To hail his triumpn 'beath the sky. Dying he conquer'd; yet at last No human honours grac'd his bier; No trumpet wail'd its mournful blast, No muffl'd drum made music drear. But when he dy'd the rocks were rent, The sun his radiant beams withheld, All nature shudder'd at th' event, And horror every bosom swell'd. E'en Death, fell Death! could not detain Him, who for man his life had given, He burst the ineffectual chain, And soar'd his advocate to heaven.
Thomas Gillet (The Juvenile Wreath; Consisting of Poems, Chiefly on the Subject of Natural History)
The cowboy/soldier is a poem a Vietnam veteran, Lenard Cohan, shares with Mary Devstena, a veteran of Iraq, in the novel Army Girl.
J.S. McInroy
Two Valentines are actually described in the early church, but they likely refer to the same man — a priest in Rome during the reign of Emperor Claudius II. According to tradition, Valentine, having been imprisoned and beaten, was beheaded on February 14, about 270, along the Flaminian Way. Sound romantic to you? How then did his martyrdom become a day for lovers and flowers, candy and little poems reading Roses are red… ? According to legends handed down, Valentine undercut an edict of Emperor Claudius. Wanting to more easily recruit soldiers for his army, Claudius had tried to weaken family ties by forbidding marriage. Valentine, ignoring the order, secretly married young couples in the underground church. These activities, when uncovered, led to his arrest. Furthermore, Valentine had a romantic interest of his own. While in prison he became friends with the jailer’s daughter, and being deprived of books he amused himself by cutting shapes in paper and writing notes to her. His last note arrived on the morning of his death and ended with the words “Your Valentine.” In 496 February 14 was named in his honor. By this time Christianity had long been legalized in the empire, and many pagan celebrations were being “christianized.” One of them, a Roman festival named Lupercalia, was a celebration of love and fertility in which young men put names of girls in a box, drew them out, and celebrated lovemaking. This holiday was replaced by St. Valentine’s Day with its more innocent customs of sending notes and sharing expressions of affection. Does any real truth lie behind the stories of St. Valentine? Probably. He likely conducted underground weddings and sent notes to the jailer’s daughter. He might have even signed them “Your Valentine.” And he probably died for his faith in Christ.
Robert Morgan (On This Day: 365 Amazing and Inspiring Stories about Saints, Martyrs and Heroes)
Whitman began to work on an elegy to describe the meaning of the war. He called it, “Retrievements Out of the Night.” It was perhaps his greatest poem. It was written for all the bruised and broken young men. The poem was saturated with death: Come lovely and soothing death, Undulate round the world, serenely arriving, arriving, In the day, in the night, to all, to each, Sooner or later delicate death. Here were commingled the memories of the dead soldiers and their dead commander—the president. It was a triumph of a poem—written in the thrall of dharma. It was the last great poem of Whitman’s career.
Stephen Cope (The Great Work of Your Life: A Guide for the Journey to Your True Calling)
I am making this statement as an act of willful defiance of military authority, because I believe that the War is being deliberately prolonged by those who have the power to end it. I am a soldier, convinced that I am acting on behalf of soldiers. I believe that this War, upon which I entered as a War of defence, has now become a War of aggression and conquest. The letter writer, Second Lieutenant Siegfried Sassoon, had just published a much-praised book of war poems.
Adam Hochschild (To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918)
THE GRANDEST, MOST eloquent evocation of Depression-era populism came from the Lincoln biographer Carl Sandburg, whose 1936 offering was a book-length poem called The People, Yes. Aside from its iconic title, the work is almost completely forgotten today, a strange outlier amidst the last century’s highbrow taste in poetry. Sandburg’s verse is not abstract; it is not avant-garde. But let us put our cynicism aside for a moment. As the title suggests, The People, Yes was a full-throated celebration of ordinariness: the manners of the people, their dreams, their folly, their aspirations, and above all their speech, the “plain and irregular sounds and echoes from / the roar and whirl of street crowds, work gangs, sidewalk clamor,” as he wrote in the introduction. As with Ballad for Americans and so many other works of the time, there is a compulsive listing of identities, repeated efforts to name-check everyone. Sandburg gives us cantos that are lists of occupations, cantos made up of slang expressions and lines from folktales and popular jokes. There are strikers, angry farmers, tricksters, soldiers, armies, and, of course, a big fat rich guy, ordering others off his property. Naturally Sandburg attacks the elite, mocking the pretenses of aristocracy and reminding his Depression-era audience of something they knew all too well—that justice treats rich and poor differently. He reminds us that bank robbers go to prison but, if you’re a bank officer who loots the company, “all you have to do is start another bank.
Thomas Frank (The People, No: The War on Populism and the Fight for Democracy)
w for war (1) I wasn’t a helmet I wasn’t a boot I wasn’t a mortar-shell I wasn’t a tank I wasn’t a commander I wasn’t a soldier a minefield barbed wire an embankment, not me I was a bit of a photograph, small, with no corners in the left-hand breast pocket over the smashed heart of a conscript.
Fatemeh Shams (When They Broke Down The Door: Poems)
One day, years later, the soldiers wheeled around to find themselves in a city of glass. Their rifles turned to carnival glass; bullets dissolved, glittering, in their hands. From the poet’s zoo they heard monkeys cry; from the poet’s observatory they heard poem after poem like a call to prayer.
Martín Espada (The Republic of Poetry: Poems)
The problem, at least for the British, was that by this time more than 13,000 American soldiers were in place and ready to defend Fort McHenry with 100 cannons.  With the forces on land unable to continue the advance, the British turned to their naval superiority in an attempt to reduce the fort, and in his work, Pezzola described for his readers what kind of shells the British were using, making a reference to Francis Scott Key’s poem to drive the point home: “Just one of these cast-iron spheres contained a bursting powder charge of 9-lbs, touched off by a wooden fuse packed into the ball with finely ground powder, which was then launched from the ship by an 8000-lb mortar firing at an angle of 45-degrees. If the bomb ‘burst in air’ (to quote Francis Scott Key's later poem), the fragments showered down on the roofless forts, killing, wounding and maiming the unlucky defender-victims. If the ball struck the forts before detonation, it would smash what it hit to bits - and then explode.
Charles River Editors (Francis Scott Key: The Life and Legacy of the Man Who Wrote America’s National Anthem)
Love Logic Intention (The Drunken Sonnet) Love that keeps you sober is no love, There is no soldier only drunken lover. A thousand dazzling Vegas turn bleak, When the soul shines with love's labor. For once, let go of all judgment my friend, Wipe out all cynicism from your core. Close your eyes and look with your heart, Either we are lovers or at death's door. Nutty logic makes nice machines, Nutty love makes a good society. Scars of love add definition to life, Tears of a lover are diamonds of divinity. Right world is the result of right intention. If you want light, burn, burn 'n burn again.
Abhijit Naskar (Honor He Wrote: 100 Sonnets For Humans Not Vegetables)
In fact, the “women and children first” protocol for abandoning ship was not a particularly ancient one. It began with the HMS Birkenhead, a British troopship that was wrecked off Cape Town, South Africa, on February 26, 1852. The soldiers famously stood in formation on deck while the women and children boarded the boats, and only 193 of the 643 people on board survived. Hymned as the “Birkenhead drill” in a poem by Rudyard Kipling, it became a familiar touchstone of Britain’s imperial greatness and AS BRAVE AS THE BIRKENHEAD was a much-used heading in UK Titanic press coverage. A story that Captain Smith had exhorted his men to “Be British!” further burnished the oft-cited claim that Anglo-Saxon men had not forgotten how to die.
Hugh Brewster (Gilded Lives, Fatal Voyage: The Titanic's First-Class Passengers and Their World)
Character No Commodity (The Sonnet) Character, I say, is no commodity, To be traded in for luxury. Integrity, I say, is no commodity, To be traded in for security, Virtues, I say, are no commodity, To be traded in for applause. Values, I say, are no commodity, To be traded in for comfort. Warmth, I say, is no commodity, To be traded in for image. Humility, I say, is no commodity, To be traded in for respect. A life without honor, I say, Is a life totally gone astray.
Abhijit Naskar (Mücadele Muhabbet: Gospel of An Unarmed Soldier)
Sonnet of Public Service Every reformer is a public servant, But not every public servant is a reformer, For public service isn't taught as life itself, But as just another job little more secure. If only education focused on life and love, Instead of constantly peddling competition, Perhaps we'd have a world little less bitter, And we'd have ascension, not abomination. But there's no use in brooding over history, What's needed is to realize love as our core. Education and all be manifestations of love, If not, it is just another snobbish endeavor. May service be the goal, role and whole of life, Instead of being and raising educated lowlife.
Abhijit Naskar (Mücadele Muhabbet: Gospel of An Unarmed Soldier)
Self-Portrait as Mango She says, Your English is great! How long have you been in our country? I say, Suck on a mango, bitch, since that’s all you think I eat anyway. Mangoes are what margins like me know everything about, right? Doesn’t a mango just win spelling bees and kiss white boys? Isn’t a mango a placeholder in a poem folded with burkas? But this one, the one I’m going to slice and serve down her throat, is a mango that remembers jungles jagged with insects, the river’s darker thirst. This mango was cut down by a scythe that beheads soldiers, mango that taunts and suns itself into a hard-palmed fist only a few months per year, fattens while blood stains green ponds. Why use a mango to beat her perplexed? Why not a coconut? Because this “exotic” fruit won’t be cracked open to reveal whiteness to you. This mango isn’t alien just because of its gold-green bloodline. I know I’m worth waiting for. I want to be kneaded for ripeness. Mango: my own sunset-skinned heart waiting to be held and peeled, mango I suck open with teeth. Tappai! This is the only way to eat a mango.
Tarfia Faizullah
One dreamer awake in love invigorates the whole world.
Abhijit Naskar (Honor He Wrote: 100 Sonnets For Humans Not Vegetables)
I think of that poem, about how scary it is handing over your heart, like a soldier lowering his weapon.
Beth O'Leary (The Road Trip)
Sonnet Krantistani To hell with fear, To hell with insecurity! Stand up with conviction, To hell with serenity! Enough with pretend revolution, Enough with jungly aum shanti! For once in your life grow up o soldier, Breaking all biases become krantistani. Your footsteps will strike terror in terrorists, Your voice will give chills to the divisionists. Turn your existence into a beacon of help, Possess this world with acts of love and uplift. Killing terrorists and tyrants don't end inhumanity. Oust them all, then irrigate the soil with solidarity. (Krantistani: Citizen of Revolution, Aum Shanti: Archaic Peace Chant)
Abhijit Naskar (Either Reformist or Terrorist: If You Are Terror I Am Your Grandfather)
In Your Trust (The Sonnet) My soldiers don't smoke and drink, Though they may try them for experience. They don't look at another sexually, Without their wholehearted consent. I made myself the human, I want to see in the world. Touch my work only after, You've renounced being self-absorbed. I didn't annihilate my entire life, So that you may turn me into another cult. Never you use me to boost your ego, Or as an excuse for intellectual outburst. Do not be Naskar, be the Naskar 2.0. I leave my homeworld in trust of yours.
Abhijit Naskar (High Voltage Habib: Gospel of Undoctrination)
Amantes Assemble Sonnet 82 I am a soldier, I am a reformer. What will I do with a long life! If you wanna bless me with something, Bless me, O Nature, with courage to die with smile. Life and death are civilian affair. A reformer works each day with coffin in pocket. There'll be no life for any of the civilians, If the reformer slips into drunken enjoyment. A reformer doesn't know what is a hangover, Because a reformer is never sober. Drunkenness of booze wears off in a day, Drunkenness of sacrifice lasts through millennia. The selfish drink to seek escape. The reformer is too free to need such cheap help.
Abhijit Naskar (Amantes Assemble: 100 Sonnets of Servant Sultans)
Bless Me With Bullets (The Sonnet) Just once let me die for the people, Then I can live in peace. Once I am wiped out for the world, Then I can have my long awaited sleep. Only when a bunch of bravehearts are sleepless, Can the rest of humanity sleep in peace. Only when a bunch of reformers are peaceless, Will all the inequalities be appeased. To hell with personal happiness! To hell with the notion of personal and social! There is no person, there is no planet, Till the troubles of the world feel super personal. Come all ye offended, charge at me with your entire arsenal. I won't resist, come and bless me, with your bullets of denial.
Abhijit Naskar (Amantes Assemble: 100 Sonnets of Servant Sultans)
Ne'er Fade Away by Stewart Stafford The hillside piper's requiem, Guides old soldier's bones, To slain brothers of his youth, No longer a marching memory. His scars, Valhalla's roadmap, His medals, coins for Charon, His conquests, the beacon fire, His blood scours the path ahead. This churned earth is now home, Weeping craters, foxholes beatified, Barbed wire hands joined in praying, The minefield of life cleared for us all. © Stewart Stafford, 2022. All rights reserved.
Stewart Stafford
Suzuki seemed oblivious to Japan's responsibility for the war. In a footnote to Zen and Japanese Culture, he placed all the responsibility on Western intellectualism: "The intellect presses the button, the whole city is destroyed. . . . All is done mechanically, logically, systematically, and the intellect is perfectly satisfied. Is it not time for us all to think of ourselves from another point of view than that of mere intellectuality" (Suzuki 1970, 338). According to Suzuki, all this would not have happened if the Westerners had, like the Japanese, had more respect for nature. In another footnote, he wrote: "I sometimes wonder if any of the Great Western soldiers ever turned into a poet. Can we imagine, for instance, in recent times, that General MacArthur or General Eisenhower would compose a poem upon visiting one of those bomb-torn cities?" Apparently, Suzuki was unaware that perhaps the chief cause of war and its fuel were found in the same warrior mystique that he exalted in several previous chapters of the same book.
Bernard Faure (Chan Insights and Oversights)
Villicus Vadum: Soldier Of Fortune by Stewart Stafford I am the ghost of lupine Romulus, Founder of Rome, hear my tale, Of Villicus Vadum - young, driven, Steward to Senator Lucius Flavius. Villicus wanted Flavia, the senator’s daughter, But she was betrothed to Marcus Brutus; A consul of noble and virtuous stock, Villicus conspired to take Flavia's hand. Treachery and deception were his tools, Knavish peacock of Rome's epic stage, Sought to take Flavia from Marcus Brutus, To snatch and cage his treasured gem. Bribed a false soothsayer to trap her, Believing her beloved began with V, Flavia agreed to elope with him to Gaul, With Brutus vowing deadly vengeance. Fleeing to the bosom of Rome's enemy - Vercingetorix, at war with Julius Caesar, Villicus offered to spy on the Senate, While plotting to seize Gaul's throne. Queen Verica also caught his eye, Villicus was captured by Mark Antony, Taken to Caesar's camp as a traitor; Brutus challenged him to a duel. Brutus slashed him but spared his life, They dragged Villicus to Rome in chains, To try him for his now infamous crimes; Cicero in defence, Cato as prosecutor. Cicero argued Villicus acted out of love, And that his ambition merited mercy, Cato wanted death for his wicked threat, Julius Caesar pondered a final verdict. Villicus - pardoned but banished from Rome, Immediate death if he returned to Flavia, Villicus kissed the emperor's foot for naught, Flavia refused to join him in fallen exile. Now learn from this outcast's example, friends, That I, Romulus, warn you to avoid at your peril, Villicus Vadum, the wrath of the gods upon him, Until time ceases, sole spectre of night's edge. © Stewart Stafford, 2023. All rights reserved.
Stewart Stafford
Time makes me be a soldier; but I know That had I lived six hundred years ago, I might have tried to build within my heart A church like this, where I could dwell apart
Siegfried Sassoon (The War Poems)
Soldiers were shot outside a poet’s door and a bomber plane was on its way. So he took his manuscript, folded it, and locked it into a tin chest. There was a place east of town where it could be safely buried and found by another someday. He ran out during battle, was shot multiple times in his legs, slithered his way in a swamp of gushing muscle, and alas, could not make it. So, in desperation, he opened up the holes in his stomach and inserted the tin chest where his poems lie safe and died there. One day, a medic will read about birds that chirped on emerald trees.
Kristian Ventura (The Goodbye Song)
Life contracts and death is expected, As in a season of autumn. The soldier falls. He does not become a three-days personage, Imposing his separation, Calling for pomp. Death is absolute and without memorial, As in a season of autumn, When the wind stops, When the wind stops and, over the heavens, The clouds go, nevertheless, In their direction.
Wallace Stevens (The Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens (Vintage International))