War Poetry

Discussion in 'OFF-Topic / Misc.' started by Maestro, May 17, 2009.

  1. Maestro

    Maestro Active Member

    Apr 12, 2004
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    Security Officer
    Beaupré, Province of Québec, Canada
    Greetings ladies and gentlemen.

    I was watching a documentary on WWI the other day, and they quickly spoke of a Canadian Army doctor who wrote a poem in 1915. Being myself a Canadian, I often heard the first part of that poem, however it was the first time I heard the complete version of it. Somehow, I really liked that poem... I don't know why, I must be getting more emotional as I'm getting older...

    I'm posting it here as I'm sure most poeples living in other countries never heard about it.

    Personnally, I think that poem should be studied in the poetry section of the French/English class we had in Grade 8/10... It would make the younger generation more patriotic and more respectful of our soldiers.

    Anyway, here it is... In full and in both English and French versions (for our few French-speaking members) :

    And here is the story about that poem :

    Not bad, eh ?
  2. rochie

    rochie Well-Known Member

    Aug 9, 2006
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    Head chef
    billingham nr middlesbrough uk
    Poem found on russian soldiers in WW2
    i first heard it narrated by Sir Laurence Olivier on the tv series "The World at War"

    to Valentina Serova

    Wait for me, and I'll come back!
    Wait with all you've got!
    Wait, when dreary yellow rains
    Tell you, you should not.
    Wait when snow is falling fast,
    Wait when summer's hot,
    Wait when yesterdays are past,
    Others are forgot.
    Wait, when from that far-off place,
    Letters don't arrive.
    Wait, when those with whom you wait
    Doubt if I'm alive.

    Wait for me, and I'll come back!
    Wait in patience yet
    When they tell you off by heart
    That you should forget.
    Even when my dearest ones
    Say that I am lost,
    Even when my friends give up,
    Sit and count the cost,
    Drink a glass of bitter wine
    To the fallen friend -
    Wait! And do not drink with them!
    Wait until the end!

    Wait for me and I'll come back,
    Dodging every fate!
    "What a bit of luck!" they'll say,
    Those that would not wait.
    They will never understand
    How amidst the strife,
    By your waiting for me, dear,
    You had saved my life.
    Only you and I will know
    How you got me through.
    Simply - you knew how to wait -
    No one else but you.

    Konstantin Simonov
  3. bigZ

    bigZ Member

    Jan 18, 2007
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    #3 bigZ, May 17, 2009
    Last edited: May 17, 2009
    This one was written by Rupert Brooke(I think he died of a mosquito bite on the way to Galipoli)

    The Soldier

    If I should die, think only this of me:
    That there's some corner of a foreign field
    That is for ever England. There 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.

    This one from a local lad Wifred Owen(died in battle 7 days before the end of wwI):-


    Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
    Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
    Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
    And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
    Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
    But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
    Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
    Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.

    Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
    Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
    But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
    And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime . . .
    Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
    As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
    In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
    He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

    If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
    Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
    And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
    His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
    If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
    Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
    Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
    Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
    My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
    To children ardent for some desperate glory,
    The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
    Pro patria mori.
  4. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

    Apr 27, 2008
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    Hurst, Texas

    Darkness crashes slowly down
    bringing blindness all around,
    smothering all in its reach,
    the haughty, soon respect shall teach.
    Angry stand the trees above,
    denied the peace they crave, they love.
    Red-hot screams, with bile yell
    as wooden shards seek to impale
    those, frightened, huddled far below
    who shiver for awaited blow
    in holes scratched from unyielding earth
    as voices scream their ragged dearth
    upon the heights, to crash and rend
    invaders in this sacred glen.
    Death advances in the murk,
    in fetid pools of darkness lurks,
    uncaring what the soul may wear
    it falls upon to rend and tear
    or reaches out from far away,
    impartial, heartless, spare or slay.
    Within their foxholes, quivering,
    they hopeless dread what dawn shall bring.
    The Order comes, it shan’t be long,
    their fates are sealed: oh, fear the dawn!

  5. bigZ

    bigZ Member

    Jan 18, 2007
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    #5 bigZ, May 19, 2009
    Last edited: May 19, 2009
    The Charge of the Light Brigade
    Alfred, Lord Tennyson

    Half a league, half a league,
    Half a league onward,
    All in the valley of Death
    Rode the six hundred.
    "Forward, the Light Brigade!
    "Charge for the guns!" he said:
    Into the valley of Death
    Rode the six hundred.

    "Forward, the Light Brigade!"
    Was there a man dismay'd?
    Not tho' the soldier knew
    Someone had blunder'd:
    Theirs not to make reply,
    Theirs not to reason why,
    Theirs but to do and die:
    Into the valley of Death
    Rode the six hundred.

    Cannon to right of them,
    Cannon to left of them,
    Cannon in front of them
    Volley'd and thunder'd;
    Storm'd at with shot and shell,
    Boldly they rode and well,
    Into the jaws of Death,
    Into the mouth of Hell
    Rode the six hundred.

    Flash'd all their sabres bare,
    Flash'd as they turn'd in air,
    Sabring the gunners there,
    Charging an army, while
    All the world wonder'd:
    Plunged in the battery-smoke
    Right thro' the line they broke;
    Cossack and Russian
    Reel'd from the sabre stroke
    Shatter'd and sunder'd.
    Then they rode back, but not
    Not the six hundred.

    Cannon to right of them,
    Cannon to left of them,
    Cannon behind them
    Volley'd and thunder'd;
    Storm'd at with shot and shell,
    While horse and hero fell,
    They that had fought so well
    Came thro' the jaws of Death
    Back from the mouth of Hell,
    All that was left of them,
    Left of six hundred.

    When can their glory fade?
    O the wild charge they made!
    All the world wondered.
    Honor the charge they made,
    Honor the Light Brigade,
    Noble six hundred.
  6. bigZ

    bigZ Member

    Jan 18, 2007
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    Not so well known is Rudyard Kipplings:-


    The Last of the Light Brigade


    There were thirty million English who talked of England's might,
    There were twenty broken troopers who lacked a bed for the night.
    They had neither food nor money, they had neither service nor trade;
    They were only shiftless soldiers, the last of the Light Brigade.

    They felt that life was fleeting; they knew not that art was long,
    That though they were dying of famine, they lived in deathless song.
    They asked for a little money to keep the wolf from the door;
    And the thirty million English sent twenty pounds and four !

    They laid their heads together that were scarred and lined and grey;
    Keen were the Russian sabres, but want was keener than they;
    And an old Troop-Sergeant muttered, "Let us go to the man who writes
    The things on Balaclava the kiddies at school recites."

    They went without bands or colours, a regiment ten-file strong,
    To look for the Master-singer who had crowned them all in his song;
    And, waiting his servant's order, by the garden gate they stayed,
    A desolate little cluster, the last of the Light Brigade.

    They strove to stand to attention, to straighen the toil-bowed back;
    They drilled on an empty stomach, the loose-knit files fell slack;
    With stooping of weary shoulders, in garments tattered and frayed,
    They shambled into his presence, the last of the Light Brigade.

    The old Troop-Sergeant was spokesman, and "Beggin' your pardon," he said,
    "You wrote o' the Light Brigade, sir. Here's all that isn't dead.
    An' it's all come true what you wrote, sir, regardin' the mouth of hell;
    For we're all of us nigh to the workhouse, an' we thought we'd call an' tell.

    "No, thank you, we don't want food, sir; but couldn't you take an' write
    A sort of 'to be continued' and 'see next page' o' the fight?
    We think that someone has blundered, an' couldn't you tell 'em how?
    You wrote we were heroes once, sir. Please, write we are starving now."

    The poor little army departed, limping and lean and forlorn.
    And the heart of the Master-singer grew hot with "the scorn of scorn."
    And he wrote for them wonderful verses that swept the land like flame,
    Till the fatted souls of the English were scourged with the thing called Shame.

    O thirty million English that babble of England's might,
    Behold there are twenty heroes who lack their food to-night;
    Our children's children are lisping to "honour the charge they made - "
    And we leave to the streets and the workhouse the charge of the Light Brigade!
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