Saturday, May 23, 2009

On Being Asked for a War Poem (Yeats, 1928)

I think it better that in times like these
A poet’s mouth be silent, for in truth
We have no gift to set a statesman right;
He has had enough of meddling who can please
A young girl in the indolence of her youth,
Or an old man upon a winter’s night.

My personal wall

Bill Bobbitt, Viet Nam
Michael McLaughlin, Iraq
Baird Mitchell, World War Two
Ken Nervie, Viet Nam
Bill Smoyer, Viet Nam
Jimmy Spencer, Viet Nam

I speak their names out loud so that once again, if only for a second, the earth echoes with the sound: they were here.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
From: For the Fallen, by Lawrence Binyon

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