History is Not Boring discussion

Armistice/Remembrance Day Poems

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message 1: by Marian (new)

Marian (gramma) | 98 comments There's a big problem here. The hostilities didn't cease. They stopped for about 20 years, then started up again. Since then, different hostilities have started & ended, and too many lives were taken.
I grew up knowing that my aunt's husband (I never met him} was in a hospital for being gassed in the Great War. My aunt was proud that he had fought in the "War to end all waars." When he first came home, he was OK, but his lungs kept getting worse. He died the summer that Hitler invaded Poland -- the family said it was good he didn't know about that. That his war to end all wars was now known as world War 1.

Boreal Elizabeth | 145 comments i like the first better
because at that time that was the sentiment
regardless of successive events
but no matter
which ever you choose will work
bravo marco

it hangs together quite nicely as a poem

and it's remarkable that you would even consider these sentiments and this quite distant time at your age

i'm sure you are sick of hearing it and i'm sure you can also be a very "immature" young man ;)
but it is when you reach to express all that you know and are learning that you are just a wonderful boy

keep writing poetry

now did you study the poetic form? is it in keeping with memorial poetry?

message 3: by James (new)

James As Elizabeth said, the belief and hope of most people at the time was that it really had been 'the war to end all war.' People and governments had gone into WW1 naive and enthusiastic - they expected it to be over in 6 weeks (each side expected to win, of course) and they didn't remotely grasp the scale or grisliness of the casualties that were possible. They had a picture of something glamorous and picturesque, and instead they experienced industrialized slaughter and maiming on a scale no one could imagine beforehand (except perhaps Americans who recalled something similar from the closing stages of the Civil War here.)

The main thing that wrecked the peace was that the French and British heads of state decided to use the peace as a vehicle to punish, humiliate, and plunder Germany, put all the blame for the war on Germany (in truth, they all shared responsibility for it), and leave Germany permanently too weak to defend itself. That, in turn, bred the bitterness in Germany that enabled Hitler to come to power.

I like your poem, Marco - it's good that it looks at the reality of the way warfare destroys so many lives and the permanence of that. If more of us realized that when we were young, it might be very difficult to get enough people into uniform to ever have an army in the first place.

There was a documentary on the History Channel recently about one of the best of the war poets from World War I, Siegfried Sassoon - you'd probably find it very interesting if you get the chance to watch it. Sassoon was a young British man, a sheltered member of the aristocratic upper class, who went into the war in France as a junior officer with all those naive illusions so many had. In a short time, though, his brother (to whom he was exceptionally close, even for siblings) was killed at Gallipoli, then one of his closest friends was killed there in France, and he saw a lot of other people in his unit killed - his attitude and poetry changed completely, and he became very anti-war, although he also fought with rare skill and courage, getting the nickname 'Mad Jack' from his fellow soldiers, and was highly decorated.

Robert Graves was another war poet from World War I, and he and Sassoon were close friends.

This is a link to a piece I wrote - it's a prose essay, not poety, but I hope it fits in this string: it's on my MySpace blog - scroll down to the essay titled "The Nature of the Job": http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fus...

message 4: by Susanna - Censored by GoodReads, Crazy Cat Lady (new)

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 1011 comments Mod
This, believe it or not, was the subject of my M.A. thesis - the war poetry of the Great War.

You made me giggle!

message 5: by Marian (new)

Marian (gramma) | 98 comments You all are right about the attitude people had in 1918. They really believed that everyone would realize that war was so horrible that there would never be a large scale war again. Our president Woodrow Wilson believed that & he lost his health when he traveled through the country trying to raise support for the "League of Nations" It's debatable if US participation in the League of Nations would have prevented the rise of fascism. Wilson could not keep theFrench from demanding a huge retribution from Germany. If you look at the history of the 2 countries, the Franco-Prussian war of the 1870's had cost France the coal-rich provinces of Alsace-Loraine & they wanted them back. Germany, once a collection of small nation-states (Prussia, Bavaria, Saxony, ect.) was finally united under Bismarck in the 1870's & was"feeling its muscle" & ready to show off at any provacation. All of the participants in the Great War had recently acquired new weapons like the machine gun & were eager to use them - like kids with new toys. The
Best books on the beginnings of WW1 are Barbara Tuchman's"The Proud Tower" "The Guns of August" & from a US perspective "The Zimmerman telegram."
On of the best poets I believe was Wilfred Owen who was killed at the end of the war.
Marco, keep up with the poetry. You are doing a great job on your revisions.

Boreal Elizabeth | 145 comments yep-make it longer
look up poetic metre
and memorial poetry

i like the new sentiments you incorporated in the second verse about peace and peace of mind
it does switch rhythm as your friend indicates

if you really want to work with the form you will have to study the different forms of metered verse
i'm not good at it-i'm a free verse enthusiast instead

poetry incorporats rhythms
each line and verse set to a specific rhythm
iambic pentameter is the most common (a 5 beat line)

i think you could master most of the common forms easily as you already have a feel for it

look it up marco
look it up :)
you've got things to say and i look forward to hearing them

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