War Poems thread - please come in and comment!

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Polar bear
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Re: War Poems thread - please come in and comment!

Post by Polar bear » 26 Nov 2010 17:07

Hi, all

I`m very much moved by this thread and loved to read Kipling, Housman, Sassoon, Owen and others

The navy seems, however to be somewhat "underrepresented :milwink:

Therefore, two poems by Rudyard Kipling

The Trade

They bear, in place of classic names,
Letters and numbers on their skin.
They play their grisly blindfold games
In little boxes made of tin.
Sometimes they stalk the Zeppelin
Sometimes they learn where mines are laid
Or where the Baltic ice is thin.
That is the custom of “The Trade”.

Few prize-courts sit upon their claims.
They seldom tow their targets in.
They follow certain secret aims
Down under, far from strife or din.
When they are ready to begin,
No flag is flown, no fuss is made
More than the shearing of a pin.
That is the custom of “The Trade”.

The scout`s quadruple funnel flames
A mark from Sweden to the Swin
The cruiser´s thund`rous screw proclaims
Her comings out and goings in:
But only whiffs of paraffin
Or creamy rings that fizz and fade
Show where the one-eyed death has been.
That is the custom of “The Trade”.

Their feats, their fortunes and their fames
Are hidden from their nearest kin.
No eager public backs or blames
No journal prints the yarn they spin
(the censor would not let it in!)
When they return from run or raid
Unheard they work, unseen they win.
That is the custom of “The Trade”.

[“The Trade” war der interne Begriff des Submarine Branch der Royal Navy für sich selbst im 1. Weltkrieg]

and

Destroyer Escort

I was a sheperd to fools,
Causelessly bold or afraid.
They wouldn`t obey by my rules,
Yet, they escaped – and I stayed
Peace hath her victories no less renowned than War
(John Milton, the poet, in a letter to the Lord General Cromwell, May 1652)

grassi
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Re: War Poems thread - please come in and comment!

Post by grassi » 26 Nov 2010 21:43

Wilhelm Klemm (1881-1968),
Schlacht an der Marne (1914)

Langsam beginnen die Steine sich zu bewegen und zu reden.
Die Gräser erstarren zu grünem Metall. Die Wälder,
Niedrige, dichte Verstecke, fressen ferne Kolonnen.
Der Himmel, das kalkweiße Geheimnis, droht zu bersten.

Zwei kolossale Stunden rollen sich auf zu Minuten.
Der leere Horizont bläht sich empor.
Mein Herz ist so groß wie Deutschland und Frankreich zusammen,
Durchbohrt von allen Geschossen der Welt.

Die Batterie erhebt ihre Löwenstimme
Sechsmal hinaus in das Land. Die Granaten heulen.
Stille. In der Ferne brodelt das Feuer der Infanterie,
Tagelang, wochenlang.


Best regards


grassi

Lasertwo
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Re: War Poems thread - please come in and comment!

Post by Lasertwo » 08 Aug 2011 02:15

I LIKE THE SECOND WORLD WAR POEM BY JOHN PUDNEY ''FOR JOHHNY '' WHICH WAS READ by a female character in the 1945 British war film starring John Mills, Michael Redgrave et al called ''OUR WAY TO THE STARS'' (i THINK)
FOR JOHHNY
BY JOHN PUDNEY.
DO NOT DESPAIR
FOR JOHHNY HEAD-IN-AIR
HE SLEEPS AS SOUND
AS JOHNNY UNDERGROUND.

FETCH OUT NO SHROUD
FOR JOHHNY IN THE CLOUD
AND KEEP YOUR TEARS
FOR HIM IN AFTER YEARS

BETTER BY FAR
FOR JOHNNY -THE BRIGHT-STAR
TO KEEP YOR HEAD
AND SEE HIS CHILDREN FED.
KEITH DOUGLAS AND HAMISH HENDERSON ARE TWO BRITISH NORTH AFRICAN CVAMPAIGN POETS WORTH READING. Douglas was killed in action in Normandy in 1944 but Henderson survived the war.

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Terry Duncan
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Re: War Poems thread - please come in and comment!

Post by Terry Duncan » 08 Aug 2011 19:18

This is a quite famous poem by Lt-Cmdr R A B Mitchell and was written for HMS Warspite after she ran aground on the way to the scrapyard, many have said that few men have been the subject of such a fine epitaph;

"The Subject"

You say you have no subject
And your brushes all have dried;
But come to Marazion
At the ebbing of the tide.

And look you out to seaward,
Where my Lady battle scarred
Hugs the rock that is more welcome,
Than the shameful breakers yard.

Paint her there upon the sunset
In her glory and despair,
With the diadem of victory
Still in flower upon her hair.

Let her whisper as she settles
Of her blooding long ago,
In the mist than mingles Jutland
With the might of Scapa Flow.

Let her tell you, too, of Narvik
With its snowy hills, and then
Of Matapan, Salerno
And the shoals of Walcheren;
And finally of Malta,
When along the purple street
Came in trail the Roman Navy
To surrender at her feet.

Of all these honours conscious,
How could she bear to be
Delivered to the spoiler
Or severed from the sea ?
So hasten then and paint her
In the last flush of her pride
On the rocks of Marazion,
At the ebbing of the tide.

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YC Chen
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Location: Nanking

Re: War Poems thread - please come in and comment!

Post by YC Chen » 12 Aug 2011 03:07

Wow, I must say this is a great thread!
I wonder if you would like to see some from Asian front :)
This is one:
SUPPOSING THAT WE ARE NOT GOING TO FIGHT
Supposing that we are not going to fight,
The enemy would have killed us
With their bayonets
And point at our bones with their hands and say:
"Look,
these are slaves!"
by Chinese poet Tianjian, 1938
Translated by myself, sorry bad English.

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