War Poems thread - please come in and comment!

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Gyenes
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Post by Gyenes » 27 Jun 2004 00:48

Daryl Leeworthy wrote:However, I can't find this poem translated into English and I'm not fluent in Welsh to be able to translate it. Suffice it to say, this poem is strongly anti-war and it won the 1917 Eisteddfod Chair for the poet Hedd Wyn who died at Paschendale. I do apologise for not being able to share it with you in English. Also I have noticed that there are a few characters that run something like
y^
this is because in Welsh orthography the ^ would go above the letter but alas the character map doesn't allow for it. If I do find an English translation I'll share it with you.


I have found that YR ARWR translates as "The Hero".

Here is some info about the poet:

Image
Hedd Wyn (in Welsh "white peace"), was the pen-name of Ellis Humphrey Evans (1887-1917), a Merionethshire shepherd-poet of World War I. Evans was awarded the bardic chair at the National Eisteddfod in 1917 for his poem, "Yr Arwr" ("The Hero"), written in the verse form known as an "awdl". The award was posthumous, Evans having been killed in France at Pilkem Ridge shortly before. He wrote the peom in Flanders. The story became the subject of an Oscar-nominated Welsh-language film in 1993. This was taken from Wikipedia encyclopedia.

I can't however translate the peom because my Welsh is limited to one word, cyfrifiadur (Computer).

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Daryl Leeworthy
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Post by Daryl Leeworthy » 27 Jun 2004 09:06

Ah yes thank you Gyenes I keep forgetting to put the titles to these poems!

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Post by Daryl Leeworthy » 27 Jun 2004 10:57

New one for today:

Anthem for a Doomed Youth

Wilfred Owen

What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
- Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
Oonly the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle
Can patter outtheir hasty orisons.
No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells;
Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs, -
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
And bugles calling for them from sad shires.

What candles may be held to speed them all?
Not in the hands of boys but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes.
The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.
[/i]

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Vesper
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Post by Vesper » 28 Jun 2004 04:15

A rather rude one, but one of my favourites :D & not really a poem, more of a song, but a ww2 one nonetheless. Hopefully the navy slang won't confuse you chaps too much. This is about seafire pilots in the Fleet Air Arm.

The A25 Song

They say in the Air Force a landing's OK
If the pilot gets out and can still walk away,
But in the Fleet Air Arm the prospect is grim
If the landing's piss-poor and the pilot can't swim.

cho: Cracking show, I'm alive,
But I still have to render my A25.

I fly for a living and not just for fun,
I'm not very anxious to hack down a Hun,
And as for deck landings at night in the dark,
As I told Wings this morning,'Blow that for a lark.'

When the batsman gives "lower" I always go higher,
I drift o'er to starboard and prang my Seafire.
The boys in the "Goofers" all think that I'm green,
But I get a commission from Supermarine.

They gave me a Barra to beat up the Fleet,
I shot up the Rodney and Nelson a treat,
I forgot the high mast that sticks out from Formid,
And a seat in the "Goofers" was worth fifty quid.

I thought I was coming in high enough but
I was fifty feet up when the batsman gave "cut",
And loud in my earphones the sweet angels sang:
"'Float, float, foat, float, float, float, float, float, float, float,
PRANG!"

When you come o'er the round-down and see Wings' frown
You can safely assume that your hook isn't down.
A dirty great barrier looms up in front,
And you hear Wings shout, "Switch off your engine, you fool!"

The Wings of St Merryn in a "Reliant" one day
Set out for Trelliga for tea for to stay,
But as he got there his engine cut out,
And now all you hear is Wings' painful shout:

I swing down the deck in my Martlet Mark Four,
Loud in my ear-'oles the Cyclone's smooth roar:
"Chuff-clank-clank, chuff-clank-clank, chuff-clank-clank-clink!'
Away wing on pom-pom, away life in Drink

I flew over Jay-pan in my F.O. 2
Taking some pictures, admiring the view,
When up came the flack and I turned round about,
And that's why I sit in my dinghy and shout:

I came back to England and much to my wrath
They gave me some dual in an old Tiger Moth,
Which does fifty-five knots or something fantastic,
Which is bloody good-o on some string and elastic.

One night in the 'Wardroom a subby named Bash,
An awkward young bastard with a ginger moustache,
Said, "Chaps I must drown all my sorrows in gin,
I've been twelve hours ashore and I can't get it in."

I sat in the starter awaiting the kick,
Amusing myself by rotating the stick.
Down came the green flag, the plane gave a cough,
"Gor Blimey," said 'Wings'," he has tossed himself off."

Now in the Luftwaffe they never complain
Since Goering invented the pilotless plane.
They sit in the crew room and sing all the day,
And this is the song that they sing so they say:

The moral of this story is easy to see,
A Fleet Air Arm pilot you never should be,
But stay on the shore and get two rings or three
And go out every night on the piss down at Lee.

Cracking show, I'm alive,
But I still have to render my A25.

Note: is customary for the rhyme set up for the end of verse six to remain
unfulfilled, presumably because singers have discovered that a
bigger laugh ensues when a milder epithet is substituted for
the obvious one.-CT
The A25 is the accident report form, lengthy, detailed and
agonizing.

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Lord Gort
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Post by Lord Gort » 28 Jun 2004 12:03

I like that one Daryl, although after studying Owen and Sassoon for year, seeing that one is becoming a bit wearisome. :)


The poem "Anthem for Doomed Youth" was almost a collaborative effort between Owen and Sassoon. They worked on it at Craiglockhart hospital outside Edinburgh, where they were recuperating. But as you seem to be getting a penchance for Owen and Sassoon Daryl, I'll post todays poem. :D

Sorry about nopt posting yesterday, hiccup with the internet, I had an economics exam to revise for. Anyway here is today's poem. And its Sassoon........ :)


Base Details


IF I were fierce, and bald, and short of breath,
I’d live with scarlet Majors at the Base,
And speed glum heroes up the line to death.
You’d see me with my puffy petulant face,
Guzzling and gulping in the best hotel,
Reading the Roll of Honour. ‘Poor young chap,’
I’d say—‘I used to know his father well;
Yes, we’ve lost heavily in this last scrap.’
And when the war is done and youth stone dead,
I’d toddle safely home and die—in bed.


Tragically Own died while leading an assault across a canal if memory serves, I think it was on the 5th of Nivember 1918. Irony knows no bounds its seems.


Vesper that ones brilliant, although I know what you mean about the slang. :D



Friendly Regards,

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Kunikov
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Post by Kunikov » 28 Jun 2004 15:35

No need, comrade, in this unceasing pain
Of yours to call for help. Strange, but it’s you
I call to help me, to warm my hands again.
Yes, on your still warm blood I’ll warm mine too…
Do not cry or scream, your not a child.
You are not wounded you are simply dead.
But please, let me take off your boots
We have yet to advance.

Yanik Degena

Translated from Russian, this is the original:

Мой товарищ, в смертельной агонии
Не зови понапрасну друзей.
Дай-ка лучше согрею ладони я
Над дымящейся кровью твоей.

Ты не плач, не кричи, ты не маленький.
Ты не ранен, ты просто убит.
Погоди-ка, сниму с тебя валенки.
Нам ещё наступать предстоит.

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Klaus Yurk
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Post by Klaus Yurk » 28 Jun 2004 15:55

Kunikov,

I like your poem. My father used to tell me stories of the cold on the Eastern Front. Of men with rubber noses and no ears. Of snow covered chunks of ice that were once men on the line. And the Grim Reaper was always beckoning you to a beautiful sleep.

Good poem, sir.

Klaus

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Kunikov
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Post by Kunikov » 29 Jun 2004 01:40

Lets see if anyone likes these:

I often wake up in the middle of the night,
To hear the bullets in their flight.
Shells burst and flames engulf all life,
A river of blood begins to flow.
The cries of fallen heroes fills our ears,
Those who gave their lives to save mine.
It is over as quickly as it began,
We find ourselves crying in the street,
Shedding tears of woo for those that
Died a lifetime ago.
For those innocent lives the world
will never get to know.


A thunder crash and my hearing is taken from me,
a flash and blindness introduces me into its world.
I stutter and shake like an old man,
while hallucinations of past and present engulf my mind,
and smoke and dust fill my lungs with ease.
I come to, and grab the nearest nurse to me,
I cry a cry as if it is my last.
I view my legs from a distance,
And realize, I am an invalid, at nineteen.

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Andy H
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Post by Andy H » 29 Jun 2004 02:04

From Rupert Brooke's the Soldier Part V

If I should die, think only this of me:
That there’s some corner of a foreign field
That is forever England. That shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England’s, breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.

And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
In hearts at peace, under an English heaven

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Daryl Leeworthy
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Post by Daryl Leeworthy » 29 Jun 2004 21:33

I have gone with WW2 for this latest offering from me, and is once more a Welsh poem, but in English.

A Refusal to Mourn the Death, by Fire, of a Child in London


Never until the mankind making
Bird beast and flower
Fathering and all humbling darkness
Tells with silence the last light breaking
And the still hour
Is come of the sea tumbling in harness

And I must enter again the round
Zion of the water bead
And the synagogue of the ear of corn
Shall I let pray the shadow of a sound
Or sow my salt seed
In the least valley of sackcloth to mourn


The majesty and burning of the child's death.
I shall not murder
the mankind of her going with a grave truth
Nor blaspheme down the stations of the breath
With any further
Elegy of innocence and youth.


Deep with the first dead lies London's daughter,
Robed in the long friends,
The grains beyond age, the dark veins of her mother,
Secret by the unmourning water
Of the riding Thames.
After the first death, there is no other.



Dylan Thomas

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Lord Gort
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Post by Lord Gort » 29 Jun 2004 21:36

Today's poem isnt a war poem, I'll continue with thsoe tommorow, I'm posting this because I read it today, and I quite enjoy it, hhope you do ot.

Its by the Russian Alexander Pushkin.......

1825


You're the kind that always loses,
Bliss and you are all at odds:
You're too sweet when chance refuses
And too clever when it nods.




Friendly Regards,

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Klaus Yurk
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Post by Klaus Yurk » 30 Jun 2004 09:24

Gort,

Would it be alright if I posted a poem here that I wrote after my father died? He was a German veteran of the Eastern Front. It is just about incidents he told me about the brutal fighting and cold there. (Actually, one of Kunikov's poems reminded me of it.) I came accross it recently while looking for his POW release papers. I know that my meager efforts really do not belong among the "pros" here. But, hey, at least you guys can all laugh at me and tell me I should go into another line of work (I am) :lol: Believe me, you won't hurt my feelings if you say no.

Klaus

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Lord Gort
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Post by Lord Gort » 30 Jun 2004 09:40

Klaus, I'd love to hear it, and I'm sure the rest of us would to.

Fire away.....



friendly regards, :)

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Kunikov
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Post by Kunikov » 30 Jun 2004 15:27

"Jewish Partisan Song"
"From lands of palm and lands bedecked with snow
We came with all our people's pain and woe,
Where falls our martyr's blood into the earth,
Our courage and our hope shall have rebirth.
Tomorrow's dawn will robe our world in light,
Our yesterday will vanish with the night.
But if our freedom should arrive too late,
The world should know the meaning of our fate.
My muse is not a poet's playful dream,
I write in blood and not in ink my theme,
We sang it as our world went up in flame,
We sang it fighting to defend our name."

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Klaus Yurk
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Post by Klaus Yurk » 30 Jun 2004 20:59

Gort,

Well, you asked for it, sir. Now you're going to get it :lol:

I'm not a poet at all. This is the one and only poem I ever wrote. Tried to honor my father who served in the German army 1941-45, mostly on the Eastern Front. This is little things and incidents he told me. I hope our Russian friends are not offended. Because to the German soldier that was hell. Anyway, to paraphrase Shakespeare, remember "kindly to judge, kindly to hear," my only poem. Writen a year after my father's death.

The Eastern Front
by
Klaus Dieter Yurk

My father used to tell me about the Eastern Front.
Of Tigers burning in the snow,
Of men with rubber noses and no ears,
And the Grim Reaper, that busy shade,
Taking friends so fast that there just were no more tears.

My father used to tell me about the Eastern Front.
Of snow covered ice shaped as men,
Of warming his hands in the steaming blood of newly fallen Kameraden,
Who didn’t mind at all, because had things been the other way around,
Dad would have gladly warmed their hands before he went into the ground.

My father used to tell me about the Eastern Front.
Of a bloated piece of charcoal that had been his Leutnant,
Of holding his best friend in his arms,
And talking of silliness, and parents, and dancing with girls, but not long,
Just until he died, because his legs were gone.

My father used to tell me about the Eastern Front.
Of the dance of Death at Leningrad and Kursk.
Of swimming the river with his smiling brother,
Who groaned as he was shot in the head, and it is a very hard thing to do,
For the living to let go, and let the fast cold water take the dead.

My father used to tell me about the Eastern Front.
Of blood flowing like water at Orel.
Of being one of two in a thousand who survived a bloody hill.
The Grim Reaper finally ran him down, but it was forty years and half a world away from,
The Hell of the Eastern Front.

@ 1983



Rest in peace, father.

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