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Unread 11-11-2019, 11:16 AM
Maryann Corbett's Avatar
Maryann Corbett Maryann Corbett is offline
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Saint Paul, MN
Posts: 9,582
Default Armistice Day: Poems against war

We've had threads before, of course, about war and anti-war poems. Sometimes those threads become contentious; I hope this one won't.

With the reminder that one may not post or link to one's own poems, I'd like to encourage posting or linking to newer poems against war. I think it's legitimate to include the poems of people who are, or have been, Sphere participants.

Here is a thread that revisits well-known, and a few less well known, examples.

To start us off, here's Brian Turner's "Here, Bullet."
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Unread 11-11-2019, 11:57 AM
Ann Drysdale's Avatar
Ann Drysdale Ann Drysdale is offline
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Location: Old South Wales (UK)
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Maryann, clicking on that second link brought up a security warning and a recommendation to go back.

Warning: Potential Security Risk Ahead
Firefox detected a potential security threat and did not continue to If you visit this site, attackers could try to steal information like your passwords, emails, or credit card details.
What can you do about it?
The issue is most likely with the web site, and there is nothing you can do to resolve it. You can notify the web site’s administrator about the problem.

Go Back (recommended)

Can anyone find another link to the poem?

Last edited by Ann Drysdale; 11-11-2019 at 12:05 PM. Reason: added the warning.
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Unread 11-11-2019, 12:06 PM
Maryann Corbett's Avatar
Maryann Corbett Maryann Corbett is offline
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Location: Saint Paul, MN
Posts: 9,582

Hmm. I usually prefer to link so as not to appear to violate any poet's copyright, but since that's proving troublesome, here's the poem.

Here, Bullet, by Brian Turner

If a body is what you want,
then here is bone and gristle and flesh.
Here is the clavicle-snapped wish,
the aorta’s opened valves, the leap
thought makes at the synaptic gap.
Here is the adrenaline rush you crave,
that inexorable flight, that insane puncture
into heat and blood. And I dare you to finish
what you’ve started. Because here, Bullet,
here is where I complete the word you bring
hissing through the air, here is where I moan
the barrel’s cold esophagus, triggering
my tongue’s explosives for the rifling I have
inside of me, each twist of the round
spun deeper, because here, Bullet,
here is where the world ends, every time.
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Unread 11-11-2019, 12:31 PM
Maryann Corbett's Avatar
Maryann Corbett Maryann Corbett is offline
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Saint Paul, MN
Posts: 9,582
Default and a sonnet . . .

By R.S. Gwynn

The North Atlantic
March, 1944

The “happy time” is long past, and the great
Convoy steams eastward at nine knots to fill
Bellies of bombers and of boys whose fate
Will be to seek out other boys to kill.
Or be killed. Twenty-six, my father stands
The dogwatch, and he smokes and looks to sea,
Having this evening folded many hands
And held out for the right cards patiently,
Raking a future in with bills and chips.
A flash, a muffled crack, and not much more,
And where, a moment since, one of our ships
Has been, more depths of darkness than before,
And, far behind, a home, a son, a wife,
And, waiting with them to be lived, a life.
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Unread 11-11-2019, 12:37 PM
RCL's Avatar
RCL RCL is offline
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 5,435

A reading of Frost's "The Cow in Apple Time" (1914) that I can agree with. (I paraphrase it in my current post "Extravagance").

PS: Kendall's page has links to many war poets.

Last edited by RCL; 11-11-2019 at 01:14 PM.
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Unread 11-17-2019, 10:40 AM
Julie Steiner's Avatar
Julie Steiner Julie Steiner is offline
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: San Diego, CA, USA
Posts: 6,123

Front-Page Photograph: Memorial Day
by Maryann Corbett

Do-nothing day. Still-cool morning.
In bare feet on the concrete stoop,
I pick the paper up, uncurl it,

and see: before a grave's white cross,
(a phrase comes to me: prostrate with grief)
a woman lies face down in the grass,

forehead resting on folded arms.
I glance at the caption: fiancé.
And my thinking shifts, and my face warms--

the shoulders bare, the long legs parted:
the last embrace. Should I be seeing
this act of intimacy thwarted,

this woman-six-feet-above position?
Suddenly now I find myself
firing my hard, unanswered questions

at air, while a stubborn cardinal sings
his turf-war song like a car alarm
and flaps the bloody flag of his wings.

from the 2013 collection Credo for the Checkout Line in Winter
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