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THE SECOND WORLD WAR > POETRY OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR ~ (Spoiler Thread)

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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Many folks are interested in War Time Poetry. This thread is one of many in the History Book Club where you can post such poems.


message 2: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Here is a link to a url called:

The War Poetry Website:

http://www.warpoetry.co.uk/2nd_WW.html


message 3: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) It seems that more poetry from WWI is remembered for some reason, maybe because so many of those young poets died in the trenches. So WWII verse is not as well known......but I bet everybody know this beautiful work by John Magee.

High Flight

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long delirious burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew.
And while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.

- John Magee


message 4: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
It really is because there were a group of British lads who were quite prolific. Owen and Sassoon come to mind. (World War One)

Wilfred Owen Wilfred Owen

Siegfried Sassoon Siegfried Sassoon


message 5: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Thank you for that beautiful poem Jill.


message 6: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Aug 30, 2013 06:00PM) (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
[During the Second World War . . .]
BY CHARLES REZNIKOFF

During the Second World War, I was going home one night
along a street I seldom used. All the stores were closed
except one—a small fruit store.
An old Italian was inside to wait on customers.
As I was paying him I saw that he was sad.
“You are sad,” I said. “What is troubling you?”
“Yes,” he said, “I am sad.” Then he added
in the same monotone, not looking at me:
“My son left for the front today and I’ll never see him again.”
“Don’t say that!” I said. “Of course, you will!”
“No,” he answered. “I’ll never see him again.”

Afterwards, when the war was over,
I found myself once more in that street
and again it was late at night, dark and lonely;
and again I saw the old man alone in the store.
I bought some apples and looked closely at him:
his thin wrinkled face was grim
but not particularly sad. “How about your son?” I said.
“Did he come back from the war?” “Yes,” he answered.
“He was not wounded?” “No. He is all right.”
“That’s fine,” I said. “Fine!”
He took the bag of apples from my hands and groping inside
took out one that had begun to rot
and put in a good one instead.
“He came back at Christmas,” he added.
“How wonderful! That was wonderful!”
“Yes,” he said gently, “it was wonderful.”
He took the bag of apples from my hands again
and took out one of the smaller apples and put in a large one.

Source: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/...


message 7: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) I think it is so moving........it reminds me of those RAF pilots over the Channel.
I also posted it somewhere on one of our threads when Neil Armstrong died. It seemed appropriate.


message 8: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Aug 30, 2013 06:16PM) (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Yes, it does, thank you.


message 9: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Aug 30, 2013 06:21PM) (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
POLLICITI MELIORA
Frank Thompson

As one who, gazing at a vista
Of beauty, sees the clouds close in,
And turns his back in sorrow, hearing
The thunderclouds begin.
So we, whose life was all before us,
Our hearts with sunlight filled,
Left in the hills our books and flowers,
Descended, and were killed.
Write on the stones no words of sadness -
Only the gladness due,
That we, who asked the most of living,
Knew how to give it too.

About the poet: Frank Thompson

Thompson volunteered although under age and was commissioned in the Royal Artillery in 1940, subsequently serving in the GHQ Liaison Regiment in Libya, Persia, Iran and Sicily.

Parachuted into Yugoslavia, he was ambushed in May 1944 with a group of Bulgarian partisans near Sofia. Although he was wearing uniform when captured, he was treated as a spy.

'Tried' at Litakovo, he defended himself in fluent Bulgarian condemning Fascism. He was shot on 10 June 1944. Thompson had a working knowledge of nine European languages. This poem compares with the best of the First World War.

The title of this poem is Latin, and means 'having promised better things'.

(Source: http://salamanderoasis.org)


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