War

W
Map of the New World by Derek Walcott
Derek Walcott
I Archipelagoes At the end of this sentence, rain will begin.
At the rain's edge, a sail.

Slowly the sail will lose sight of islands;
into a mist will go the belief in harbours
of an entire race.

The ten-years war is finished.
Helen's hair, a grey cloud.
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The Uncreating Chaos by Stephen Spender
Stephen Spender
(Double Portrait in a Mirror) I
To the meeting despair of eyes in the street, offer
Your eyes on plates and your liver on skewers of pity.
When the Jericho sky is heaped with clouds which the sun
Trumpets above, respond to Apocalypse
With a headache. In spirit follow
The young men to the war, up Everest. Be shot.
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A Child's Drawing, 1941 by Jean Valentine
Jean Valentine
A woman ladder leans
with her two-year-old boy in her arms.
Her arms & legs & hands & feet
are thin as crayons.

The man ladder
is holding his glass of bourbon,
he is coming out of the child’s drawing
in his old open pajamas—
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Käthe Kollwitz by Muriel Rukeyser
Muriel Rukeyser
1
Held between wars
my lifetime
among wars, the big hands of the world of death
my lifetime
listens to yours.

The faces of the sufferers
in the street, in dailiness,
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The Oppressionists by Jayne Cortez
Jayne Cortez
Art
what do the art
suppressors
care about art
they jump on bandwagons
wallow in press clips
& stink up the planet
with their
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Berryman by W. S. Merwin
W. S. Merwin
I will tell you what he told me
in the years just after the war
as we then called
the second world war

don't lose your arrogance yet he said
you can do that when you're older
lose it too soon and you may
merely replace it with vanity
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The Seasons by Guillaume Apollinaire
Guillaume Apollinaire
It was a blessèd time we were at the beach
Go out early in the morning no shoes no hats no ties
And quick as a toad’s tongue can reach
Love wounded the hearts of the mad and the wise

Did you know Guy when he galloped along When he was a military man Did you know Guy when he galloped along When he was an artiman In the war
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Lydia Puckett by Edgar Lee Masters
Edgar Lee Masters
Knowlt Hoheimer ran away to the war
The day before Curl Trenary
Swore out a warrant through Justice Arnett
For stealing hogs.
But that's not the reason he turned a soldier.
He caught me running with Lucius Atherton.
We quarreled and I told him never again
To cross my path.
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Politics by William Butler Yeats
William Butler Yeats
'In our time the destiny of man presents its meanings in political terms.'
THOMAS MANN. How can I, that girl standing there,
My attention fix
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By Guess and by Gosh by John Ashbery
John Ashbery
O awaken with me
the inquiring goodbyes.
Ooh what a messy business
a tangle and a muddle
(and made it seem quite interesting).

He ticks them off:
leisure top,
a different ride home,
whispering, in a way,
whispered whiskers,
so many of the things you have to share.

But I was getting on,
and that’s what you don’t need.
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After the War by May Wedderburn Cannan
May Wedderburn Cannan
After the war perhaps I'll sit again
Out on the terrace where I sat with you,
And see the changeless sky and hills beat blue
And live an afternoon of summer through.

I shall remember then, and sad at heart
For the lost day of happiness we knew,
Wish only that some other man were you
And spoke my name as once you used to do.
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The Poet As Hero by Siegfried Sassoon
Siegfried Sassoon
You've heard me, scornful, harsh, and discontented,
Mocking and loathing War: you've asked me why
Of my old, silly sweetness I've repented—
My ecstasies changed to an ugly cry.

You are aware that once I sought the Grail,
Riding in armour bright, serene and strong;
And it was told that through my infant wail
There rose immortal semblances of song.

But now I've said good-bye to Galahad,
And am no more the knight of dreams and show:
For lust and senseless hatred make me glad,
And my killed friends are with me where I go.
Wound for red wound I burn to smite their wrongs;
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Smile, Smile, Smile by Wilfred Owen
Wilfred Owen
Head to limp head, the sunk-eyed wounded scanned Yesterday's Mail; the casualties (typed small) And (large) Vast Booty from our Latest Haul. Also, they read of Cheap Homes, not yet planned; “For,” said the paper, “when this war is done The men's first instinct will be making homes. Meanwhile their foremost need is aerodromes, It being certain war has just begun.
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Sonnet 10: I have sought Happiness, but it has been by Alan Seeger
Alan Seeger
I have sought Happiness, but it has been
A lovely rainbow, baffling all pursuit,
And tasted Pleasure, but it was a fruit
More fair of outward hue than sweet within.
Renouncing both, a flake in the ferment
Of battling hosts that conquer or recoil,
There only, chastened by fatigue and toil,
I knew what came the nearest to content.
For there at least my troubled flesh was free
From the gadfly Desire that plagued it so;
Discord and Strife were what I used to know,
Heartaches, deception, murderous jealousy;
By War transported far from all of these,
Amid the clash of arms I was at peace.
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Two Fusiliers by Robert Graves
Robert Graves
And have we done with War at last? Well, we've been lucky devils both, And there's no need of pledge or oath
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War Mothers by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Ella Wheeler Wilcox
There is something in the sound of drum and fife
That stirs all the savage instincts into life.
In the old times of peace we went our ways,
Through proper days
Of little joys and tasks. Lonely at times,
When from the steeple sounded wedding chimes,
Telling to all the world some maid was wife—
But taking patiently our part in life
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Absolution by Siegfried Sassoon
Siegfried Sassoon
The anguish of the earth absolves our eyes
Till beauty shines in all that we can see.
War is our scourge; yet war has made us wise,
And, fighting for our freedom, we are free.

Horror of wounds and anger at the foe,
And loss of things desired; all these must pass.
We are the happy legion, for we know
Time's but a golden wind that shakes the grass.

There was an hour when we were loth to part
From life we longed to share no less than others.
Now, having claimed this heritage of heart,
What need we more, my comrades and my brothers?
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The Sun Used to Shine by Edward Thomas
Edward Thomas
The sun used to shine while we two walked
Slowly together, paused and started
Again, and sometimes mused, sometimes talked
As either pleased, and cheerfully parted

Each night. We never disagreed
Which gate to rest on. The to be
And the late past we gave small heed.
We turned from men or poetry

To rumours of the war remote
Only till both stood disinclined
For aught but the yellow flavorous coat
Of an apple wasps had undermined;

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Speech: “Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more” by William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
(from Henry V, spoken by King Henry) Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
Or close the wall up with our English dead.
In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility:
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By the Well of Living and Seeing, Part II, Section 28: “During the Second World War” by Charles Reznikoff
Charles Reznikoff
During the Second World War, I was going home one night
along a street I seldom used. All the stores were closed
except one—a small fruit store.
An old Italian was inside to wait on customers.
As I was paying him I saw that he was sad.
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Psalm 84 by Mary Sidney Herbert Countess of Pembroke
Mary Sidney Herbert Countess of Pembroke
How lovely is thy dwelling,
Great god, to whom all greatness is belonging!
To view thy courts far, far from any telling
My soul doth long and pine with longing
Unto the God that liveth,
The God that all life giveth,
My heart and body both aspire,
Above delight, beyond desire.

Alas, the sparrow knoweth
The house where free and fearless she resideth;
Directly to the nest the swallow goeth,
Where with her sons she safe abideth.
Oh, altars thine, most mighty
In war, yea, most almighty:
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Fabrication of Ancestors by Alan Dugan
Alan Dugan
For old Billy Dugan, shot in the ass in the Civil war, my father said. The old wound in my ass
has opened up again, but I
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How We Heard the Name by Alan Dugan
Alan Dugan
The river brought down
dead horses, dead men
and military debris,
indicative of war
or official acts upstream,
but it went by, it all
goes by, that is the thing
about the river. Then
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Gulf Memo by Stephen Sandy
Stephen Sandy
Tell me the way to the wedding
Tell me the way to the war,
Tell me the needle you’re threading
I won’t raise my voice anymore.

And tell me what axe you are grinding
Where the boy on the bivouac believes,
What reel you are unwinding
For the girl in her bed who grieves.
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Student Letter by Stephen Sandy
Stephen Sandy
After the declaration by emperor
to stop the war
many people in Tokyo killed themselves,
for instance, in front of the imperial palace.
But few people knows those facts.

Hence you must teach me
where you got the news or what sort of book
gave you the fact that quite few people knows.
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Song by Alicia Ostriker
Alicia Ostriker
Some claim the origin of song
was a war cry
some say it was a rhyme
telling the farmers when to plant and reap
don’t they know the first song was a lullaby
pulled from a mother’s sleep
said the old woman

A significant
factor generating my delight in being
alive this springtime
is the birdsong
that like a sweeping mesh has captured me
like diamond rain I can’t
hear it enough said the tulip
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Making Peace by Denise Levertov
Denise Levertov
A voice from the dark called out,
‘The poets must give us
imagination of peace, to oust the intense, familiar
imagination of disaster. Peace, not only
the absence of war.’
But peace, like a poem,
is not there ahead of itself,
can’t be imagined before it is made,
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Consulting an Elder Poet on an Anti-War Poem by Duane Niatum
Duane Niatum
(for Elizabeth Bishop) One day you said to me,
“there’s nothing you can do,”
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The End and the Beginning by Wisława Szymborska
Wisława Szymborska
After every war
someone has to clean up.
Things won’t
straighten themselves up, after all.

Someone has to push the rubble
to the side of the road,
so the corpse-filled wagons
can pass.
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Seventh Street by Jean Toomer
Jean Toomer
Money burns the pocket, pocket hurts,
Bootleggers in silken shirts,
Ballooned, zooming Cadillacs,
Whizzing, whizzing down the street-car tracks.
Seventh Street is a bastard of Prohibition and the War. A crude-boned, soft-skinned wedge of nigger life breathing its loafer air, jazz songs and love, thrusting unconscious rhythms, black reddish blood into the white and whitewashed wood of Washington. Stale soggy wood of Washington. Wedges rust in soggy wood. . . Split it! In two! Again! Shred it! . . the sun. Wedges are brilliant in the sun; ribbons of wet wood dry and blow away. Black reddish blood. Pouring for crude-boned soft-skinned life, who set you flowing? Blood suckers of the War would spin in a frenzy of dizziness if they drank your blood. Prohibition would put a stop to it. Who set you flowing? White and whitewash disappear in blood. Who set you flowing? Flowing down the smooth asphalt of Seventh Street, in shanties, brick office buildings, theaters, drug stores, restaurants, and cabarets? Eddying on the corners? Swirling like a blood-red smoke up where the buzzards fly in heaven? God would not dare to suck black red blood. A Nigger God! He would duck his head in shame and call for the Judgement Day. Who set you flowing?

Money burns the pocket, pocket hurts,
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Ode for the American Dead in Asia by Thomas McGrath
Thomas McGrath
1.

God love you now, if no one else will ever,
Corpse in the paddy, or dead on a high hill
In the fine and ruinous summer of a war
You never wanted. All your false flags were
Of bravery and ignorance, like grade school maps:
Colors of countries you would never see—
Until that weekend in eternity
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from War is Kind "Do not weep, maiden, for war is kind" by Stephen Crane
Stephen Crane
Do not weep, maiden, for war is kind.
Because your lover threw wild hands toward the sky
And the affrighted steed ran on alone,
Do not weep.
War is kind.

Hoarse, booming drums of the regiment,
Little souls who thirst for fight,
These men were born to drill and die.
The unexplained glory flies above them,
Great is the battle-god, great, and his kingdom—
A field where a thousand corpses lie.

Do not weep, babe, for war is kind.
Because your father tumbled in the yellow trenches,
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from Light: Winter by Inger Christensen
Inger Christensen
Winter is out for a lot this year
the beach already is stiff
all will be one will be one this year
wings and ice will be one in the world
all will be changed in the world:
the boat will hear its steps on the ice
the war will hear its war on the ice
the woman will hear her hour on the ice
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Smothered Fires by Georgia Douglas Johnson
Georgia Douglas Johnson
A woman with a burning flame
Deep covered through the years
With ashes. Ah! she hid it deep,
And smothered it with tears.

Sometimes a baleful light would rise
From out the dusky bed,
And then the woman hushed it quick
To slumber on, as dead.

At last the weary war was done
The tapers were alight,
And with a sigh of victory
She breathed a soft—good-night!

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“Do Not Embrace Your Mind’s New Negro Friend” by William Meredith
William Meredith
Do not embrace your mind’s new negro friend
Or embarrass the blackballed jew with memberships:
There must be years of atonement first, and even then
You may still be the blundering raconteur
With the wrong story, and they may still be free.

If you are with them, if even mind is friend,
There will be plenty to do: give the liars lessons
Who have heard no rumors of truth for a long time
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Lincoln by Delmore Schwartz
Delmore Schwartz
Manic-depressive Lincoln, national hero!
How just and true that this great nation, being conceived
In liberty by fugitives should find
—Strange ways and plays of monstrous History—
This Hamlet-type to be the President—

This failure, this unwilling bridegroom,
This tricky lawyer full of black despair—

He grew a beard, becoming President,
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Lochinvar by Sir Walter Scott
Sir Walter Scott
O young Lochinvar is come out of the west,
Through all the wide Border his steed was the best;
And save his good broadsword he weapons had none,
He rode all unarm’d, and he rode all alone.
So faithful in love, and so dauntless in war,
There never was knight like the young Lochinvar.

He staid not for brake, and he stopp’d not for stone,
He swam the Eske river where ford there was none;
But ere he alighted at Netherby gate,
The bride had consented, the gallant came late:
For a laggard in love, and a dastard in war,
Was to wed the fair Ellen of brave Lochinvar.

So boldly he enter’d the Netherby Hall,
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Veterans of the Seventies by Marvin Bell
Marvin Bell
His army jacket bore the white rectangle
of one who has torn off his name. He sat mute
at the round table where the trip-wire veterans
ate breakfast. They were foxhole buddies
who went stateside without leaving the war.
They had the look of men who held their breath
and now their tongues. What is to say
beyond that said by the fathers who bent lower
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I Hate by C. K. Williams
C. K. Williams
I hate how this unsummoned sigh-sound, sob-sound,
not sound really, feeling, sigh-feeling, sob-feeling,
keeps rising in me, rasping in me, not in its old disguise
as nostalgia, sweet crazed call of the blackbird;

not as remembrance, grief for so many gone,
nor either that other tangle of recall, regret
for unredeemed wrongs, errors, omissions,
petrified roots too deep to ever excise;

a mingling rather, a melding, inextricable mesh
of delight in astonishing being, of being in being,
with a fear of and fear for I can barely think what,
not non-existence, of self, loved ones, love;

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At a VA Hospital in the Middle of the United States of America: An Act in a Play by Etheridge Knight
Etheridge Knight
Stars from five wars, scars,
Words filled with ice and fear,
Nightflares and fogginess,
and a studied regularity.
Gon’ lay down my sword ’n’ shield—
Down by the river side, down by the river side—
Down by the river side...

Former Sergeant Crothers, among the worst,
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Awaking in New York by Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou
Curtains forcing their will
against the wind,
children sleep,
exchanging dreams with
seraphim. The city
drags itself awake on
subway straps; and
I, an alarm, awake as a
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Bridal Song by George Chapman
George Chapman
O come, soft rest of cares! come, Night!
Come, naked Virtue’s only tire,
The reapèd harvest of the light
Bound up in sheaves of sacred fire,
Love calls to war:
Sighs his alarms,
Lips his swords are,
The fields his arms.

Come, Night, and lay thy velvet hand
On glorious Day’s outfacing face;
And all thy crownèd flames command
For torches to our nuptial grace.
Love calls to war:
Sighs his alarms,
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Daffodils by Alicia Ostriker
Alicia Ostriker
—for David Lehman

Ten thousand saw I at a glance
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
—William Wordsworth

Going to hell so many times tears it
Which explains poetry.
—Jack Spicer
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Digging in a Footlocker by Walter McDonald
Walter McDonald
Crouched before dismantled guns,
we found war souvenirs
our uncle padlocked in the attic,
a brittle latch easily pried off.

Stiff uniforms on top, snapshots
of soldiers young as our cousins,
a velvet box of medals
as if he fought all battles
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For My Daughter by Weldon Kees
Weldon Kees
Looking into my daughter’s eyes I read
Beneath the innocence of morning flesh
Concealed, hintings of death she does not heed.
Coldest of winds have blown this hair, and mesh
Of seaweed snarled these miniatures of hands;
The night’s slow poison, tolerant and bland,
Has moved her blood. Parched years that I have seen
That may be hers appear: foul, lingering
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It Is There by Babette Deutsch
Babette Deutsch
These are the streets where we walked with war and childhood
Like our two shadows behind us, or
Before us like one shadow.
River walks
Threaded by park rats, flanked by battleships,
Flickering of a grey tail on the bank,
Motionless hulls
Enormous under a dead grey sky.
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Napoleon by Miroslav Holub
Miroslav Holub
Children, when was
Napoleon Bonaparte born,
asks teacher.

A thousand years ago, the children say.
A hundred years ago, the children say.
Last year, the children say.
No one knows.

Children, what did
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The Portent by Herman Melville
Herman Melville
Hanging from the beam,
Slowly swaying (such the law),
Gaunt the shadow on your green,
Shenandoah!
The cut is on the crown
(Lo, John Brown),
And the stabs shall heal no more.

Hidden in the cap
Is the anguish none can draw;
So your future veils its face,
Shenandoah!
But the streaming beard is shown
(Weird John Brown),
The meteor of the war.
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Reserve by Louise Imogen Guiney
Louise Imogen Guiney
You that are dear, O you above the rest!
Forgive him his evasive moods and cold;
The absence that belied him oft of old,
The war upon sad speech, the desperate jest,
And pity’s wildest gush but half-confessed,
Forgive him! Let your gentle memories hold
Some written word once tender and once bold,
Or service done shamefacedly at best,
Whereby to judge him. All his days he spent,
Like one who with an angel wrestled well,
O’ermastering Love with show of light disdain;
And whatso’er your spirits underwent,
He, wounded for you, worked no miracle
To make his heart’s allegiance wholly plain.
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So they stood by Samuel Menashe
Samuel Menashe
So they stood
Upon ladders
With pruning hooks
Backs to the king
Who took his leave
Of gardening

This morning
I am forlorn
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Sonnet 35: No more be grieved at that which thou hast done by William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
No more be grieved at that which thou hast done:
Roses have thorns, and silver fountains mud,
Clouds and eclipses stain both moon and sun,
And loathsome canker lives in sweetest bud.
All men make faults, and even I in this,
Authórizing thy trespass with compare,
Myself corrupting salving thy amiss,
Excusing thy sins more than thy sins are:
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Sonnet 55: Not marble nor the gilded monuments by William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
Not marble nor the gilded monuments
Of princes shall outlive this powerful rhyme,
But you shall shine more bright in these contents
Than unswept stone besmeared with sluttish time.
When wasteful war shall statues overturn,
And broils root out the work of masonry,
Nor Mars his sword nor war’s quick fire shall burn
The living record of your memory.
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To Lucasta, Going to the Wars by Richard Lovelace
Richard Lovelace
Tell me not (Sweet) I am unkind,
That from the nunnery
Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind
To war and arms I fly.

True, a new mistress now I chase,
The first foe in the field;
And with a stronger faith embrace
A sword, a horse, a shield.

Yet this inconstancy is such
As you too shall adore;
I could not love thee (Dear) so much,
Lov’d I not Honour more.
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Triptych by Samuel Menashe
Samuel Menashe
When my mother She who is not All at once
Was a young girl Who she was I could see
Before the War Waits to be My mother
Reading sad books Yet she is In eternity
By the river Already I told her
Sometimes, she Mother She always
Looked up, wisely Whose child Would be
But did not dream Though not yet The one
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The War in the Air by Howard Nemerov
Howard Nemerov
For a saving grace, we didn't see our dead,
Who rarely bothered coming home to die
But simply stayed away out there
In the clean war, the war in the air.

Seldom the ghosts come back bearing their tales
Of hitting the earth, the incompressible sea,
But stayed up there in the relative wind,
Shades fading in the mind,
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Colonoscopy Sonnet by Sandra M. Gilbert
Sandra M. Gilbert
On the news tonight, a presidential
colonoscopy — a tale ofhow
for three whole hours the chief  exec of   trouble
handed trouble to his vice (although
no double trouble came), but then no more
details revealed: no bacterial armies
multiplying in a flare of  war
among kingly polyps & no kinky creases.

Welcome to the presidential gut,
bubble gum pink, not a spot of  shit
(after a quick administrative cleanout)
where global decisions stir & sit in state,
and the first physician’s mighty pointer traces
only microdrops of   blood in secret places.
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The Last Attack. To Klaus by Zbigniew Herbert
Zbigniew Herbert
Permit me to open by expressing joy and wonder
that we're marching at the head of our companies
in different uniforms under a different command
but with a single aim—to survive

You say to me—look here we should probably let
these boys go home to their Margot to their Kasia
war is beautiful only in parades
but apart from that as we know—mud and blood
and rats

As you speak comes an avalanche of artillery fire
it's that bastard Parkinson who is taking so long
he caught up with us at last when we took a walk
on an irregular route our collars loose at the chin
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The Fascination of What’s Difficult by William Butler Yeats
William Butler Yeats
The fascination of what's difficult
Has dried the sap out of my veins, and rent
Spontaneous joy and natural content
Out of my heart. There's something ails our colt
That must, as if it had not holy blood
Nor on Olympus leaped from cloud to cloud,
Shiver under the lash, strain, sweat and jolt
As though it dragged road metal. My curse on plays
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Kind by Josephine Miles
Josephine Miles
When I think of my kindness which is tentative and quiet
And of yours which is intense and free,
I am in elaboration of knowledge impatient
Of even the patientest immobility.

I think of my kind, which is the human fortune
To live in the world and make war among its friends,
And of my version, which is to be moderately peaceful,
And of your version; and must make amends
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The Mower to the Glow-Worms by Andrew Marvell
Andrew Marvell
Ye living lamps, by whose dear light
The nightingale does sit so late,
And studying all the summer night,
Her matchless songs does meditate;

Ye country comets, that portend
No war nor prince’s funeral,
Shining unto no higher end
Than to presage the grass’s fall;

Ye glow-worms, whose officious flame
To wand’ring mowers shows the way,
That in the night have lost their aim,
And after foolish fires do stray;

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On the Civil War on the East Coast of the United States of North America 1860-64 by Alan Dugan
Alan Dugan
Because of the unaccountable spirit of the troops
oh we were marched as we were never marched before
and flanked them off from home. Stupid Meade
was after them, head on to tail, but we convinced
him, finally, to flank, flank, cut off their head.
He finally understood, the idiot, and got a fort
named after him, for wisdom. He probably thought
Lee would conquer Washington from Appomattox
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The Snow Is Deep on the Ground by Kenneth Patchen
Kenneth Patchen
The snow is deep on the ground.
Always the light falls
Softly down on the hair of my belovèd.

This is a good world.
The war has failed.
God shall not forget us.
Who made the snow waits where love is.

Only a few go mad.
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Song: “You charm'd me not with that fair face” by John Dryden
John Dryden
from An Evening's Love You charm'd me not with that fair face
Though it was all divine:
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Sonnet 15: When I consider everything that grows by William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
When I consider everything that grows
Holds in perfection but a little moment,
That this huge stage presenteth nought but shows
Whereon the stars in secret influence comment;
When I perceive that men as plants increase,
Cheered and check'd even by the selfsame sky,
Vaunt in their youthful sap, at height decrease,
And wear their brave state out of memory;
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Sonnet 15: Fairfax, whose name in arms through Europe rings by John Milton
John Milton
On the Lord General Fairfax at the Siege of Colchester Fairfax, whose name in arms through Europe rings
Filling each mouth with envy, or with praise,
And all her jealous monarchs with amaze
And rumours loud, that daunt remotest kings;
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Sonnet 16: Cromwell, our chief of men, who through a cloud by John Milton
John Milton
To the Lord General Cromwell, May 1652,
On the proposals of certain ministers at the Committee for
Propagation of the Gospel Cromwell, our chief of men, who through a cloud
Not of war only, but detractions rude,
Guided by faith and matchless fortitude,
To peace and truth thy glorious way hast plough'd,
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Strange Meeting by Wilfred Owen
Wilfred Owen
It seemed that out of battle I escaped
Down some profound dull tunnel, long since scooped
Through granites which titanic wars had groined.

Yet also there encumbered sleepers groaned,
Too fast in thought or death to be bestirred.
Then, as I probed them, one sprang up, and stared
With piteous recognition in fixed eyes,
Lifting distressful hands, as if to bless.
And by his smile, I knew that sullen hall,—
By his dead smile I knew we stood in Hell.

With a thousand fears that vision's face was grained;
Yet no blood reached there from the upper ground,
And no guns thumped, or down the flues made moan.
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The Twins by Robert W. Service
Robert W. Service
There were two brothers, John and James,
And when the town went up in flames,
To save the house of James dashed John,
Then turned, and lo! his own was gone.

And when the great World War began,
To volunteer John promptly ran;
And while he learned live bombs to lob,
James stayed at home and—sneaked his job.
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Driving West in 1970 by Robert Bly
Robert Bly
My dear children, do you remember the morning
When we climbed into the old Plymouth
And drove west straight toward the Pacific?

We were all the people there were.
We followed Dylan's songs all the way west.
It was Seventy; the war was over, almost;

And we were driving to the sea.
We had closed the farm, tucked in
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Strength to War by Stephen Stepanchev
Stephen Stepanchev
Dear stranger, reading this small, true book
By a simple man who loved much and wasn't loved,
Merging your own life with the lines on this page,
Lines that remind you of some frightening shore,
Cold rains, shipwreck, and loud winds and waves,
Stirring your lonely mind with brutal images
That conjure loves forgotten, fears disclaimed,
Joining your pulse with mine, tasting my blood,
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