A Meditation on War
A good poem on warfare.
Technically trench warfare began in the American Civil War – at least for Americans. Stephen Crane – better known for his book “Red Badge of Courage” than for his poetry (though I think his poetry is a thousand times more searing) wrote the following about that war. I suspect the sentiments and experiences described cross the centuries, certainly this poem has the same wrenching sarcasm about the war that one finds in the greatest of the WWI soldier-poets.
War is Kind
Stephen Crane (1899)
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…
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