Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Did Everyone Get an F in History Class?

Hello there ladies and gentlemen - my wacky and winsome take on the more humorous side of life is on holiday...you may interpret that to mean that I am having a moment, and you don't want to live in my head for even 3 seconds, let alone read what's really going on in there. So in honor of the young soldier, Army Spc. Thomas Wilson of the 278th Regimental Combat Team, who had the courage to stand up to Rumsfeld today in front of the world and demand to know why they have no proper equipment and are having to use dug up shrapnel from landfill to repair their vehicles; I give you a poem by Wilfred Owen, written in the year 1920, regarding his experiences in the First World War.

Dulce et Decorum Est
(Sweet and fitting it is to die for one's country)

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.


Wilfred Owen

2 Comments:

Blogger ThomasMcCay said...

Thanks for posting that.

All the lives unlived, the dreams undreamed, children never held, books not written, losses impossible to count. All just wiped out.

To put so many people through so much grief, horror, and tragedy, for the greed and power lust of a few corporate barons, is is beyond merely criminal.

Makes ya' wanna' puke, eh?

12 December, 2004 18:24  
Blogger Laura said...

That was brave of that soldier to speak out. I'll bet he's on latrine duty for the next year though.

Thanks for posting the poem...very chilling and haunting.

OK, back to studying for finals.

12 December, 2004 19:07  

Post a Comment

<< Home