Poem suitable for remembrance day

Discussion in 'Poetry Corner' started by mwl946, Oct 28, 2008.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. mwl946

    mwl946 LE Good Egg (charities)

    Not sure if posted in correct area, but hoping someone can help.

    Each year as part of the Remembrance Sunday service in our local church, one of my senior cadets has delivered a reading, not from the bible, but a poem of particular relevance/significance. In past years we have had "The flowers of the Forest" (No man's land) and "Will you buy a poppy". This year, im struggling to find something suitable - can anyone help??

    Many Thanks.
     
  2. Have a look at some of Robert Service's poem's from his book, Rhymes of The Red Cross Man.

    http://www.explorenorth.com/library/service/bl-redcross1.htm

    My favourites include, Carry On!, The Mourners, The Call and Song of a Soldier Born.

    Got to love verses that go like this:

    For I hold as a simple faith there's no denying:
    The trade of a soldier's the only trade worth plying;
    The death of a soldier's the only death worth dying.

    So let me go and leave your safety behind me;
    Go to the spaces of hazard where nothing shall bind me;
    Go till the word is War -- and then you will find me.
     
  3. mwl946

    mwl946 LE Good Egg (charities)

    Thanks 9er, some good ones in there for sure.
     
  4. what about is Rupert brooke poem:

    The Soldier

    If I should die, think only this of me:
    That there's some corner of a foreign field
    That is for ever England. There shall be
    In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
    A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
    Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
    A body of England's, breathing English air,
    Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.

    And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
    A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
    Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
    Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
    And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
    In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.
     
  5. or this one

    do not know your name, but I know you died
    I do not know from where you came, but I know you died


    Your uniform, branch of service, it matters not to me
    Whether Volunteer or Conscript, or how it came to be
    That politicians failures, or some power-mad ambition
    Brought you too soon to your death, in the name of any nation


    You saw, you felt, you knew full well, as friend and foe were taken
    By bloody death, that your life too, was forfeit and forsaken
    Yet on you went and fought and died, in your close and private hell
    For Mate or Pal or Regiment and memories never to tell


    It was for each other, through shot and shell, the madness you endured
    Side by side, through wound and pain, and comradeship assured
    No family ties, or bloodline link, could match that bond of friend
    Who shared the horror and kept on going, at last until the end


    We cannot know, we were not there, it's beyond our comprehension
    To know the toll that battle brings, of resolute intention
    To carry on, day by day, for all you loved and hoped for
    To live in peace a happy life, away from bloody war


    For far too many, no long life ahead, free of struggle and pain and the gun
    And we must remember the price that was paid, by each and every one
    Regardless of views, opinions aside, no matter how each of us sees it
    They were there and I cannot forget, even though I did not live it


    I do not know your name, but I know you died
    I do not know from where you came, but I know you died.

    Kenny Martin
     
  6. getting a bit dusty in here. i've something in my eyes
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Bowmore_Assassin

    Bowmore_Assassin LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    You might wish to check this thread on ARRSE where some members have put in some really good (and suitable) war poetry:

    http://www.arrse.co.uk/cpgn2/Forums/viewtopic/t=100761/postdays=0/postorder=asc/start=0.html

    Please ignore the odd comment here and there which do not really fit with the general tone of the thread.

    Also, you You might want to check out this anthology:

    The Terrible Rain - The War Poets 1939-1945

    and this one:

    The Penguin Book of First World War Poetry.

    S-P.
     
  8. B_AND_T

    B_AND_T LE Book Reviewer

    There was a poem that I heard which started with the words "Why do you march old man". Has anyone got the full poem?
     
  9. Bowmore_Assassin

    Bowmore_Assassin LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    Edited to say: It appears this is the shortened version:

    Why do you march old man,
    With medals on your chest,
    Why do you grieve old man,
    For those men you laid to rest,
    Why do your eyes gleam old man,
    When you hear the pupils blow,
    Why do you cry old man,
    For those days so long ago,
    In misty fields of gossamer song,
    In visions of distant times,
    When young boys of tender age,
    Marched for the distant lines,
    We buried them in a blanket shroud,
    Their feet all squashed in bracken,
    In a gouged out grave,
    In green grass of bracken,
    I’ll tell you why,
    Because if it hadn’t been for those apple blossomed youth,
    You would never have no freedom at all.

    Not sure who it is by. I have tried to track down who is the author of the poem but I cannot find him/her. Depending on where you go on the www, it is attributed as follows:

    A verse entitled "Remembering" from a Prisoner Of War Camps Memorial Society or

    Written by an ex-infantryman, who saw the Italian Campaign through or you can see it here:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/stories/68/a8976568.shtml

    This is the BBCs WW2 People’s War archive. It is not made clear on the BBC site if the contributor is the author of the poem or he just quotes it.
     
  10. Grownup_Rafbrat

    Grownup_Rafbrat LE Good Egg (charities)

    Why do you still march old man?
    With your medals on your chest
    Why do you still grieve old man?
    For those friends you laid to rest
    Why do your eyes gleam old man
    When you hear those bugles blow
    Tell me why you cry old man
    For those days so long ago.
    I'll tell you why I march, young man
    With these medals on my chest
    I'll tell you why I grieve young man
    For those friends I laid to rest
    Through misty folds of gossamer silk
    Come visions of distant times
    When boys of very tender age
    Marched forth to distant climes
    So young they were... with blossom cheeks
    Their eyes shone bright and clear
    Scant knowledge of this sinful! World
    Thought nought of hate or fear
    Their laughter rang through strange bare rooms
    Hardships.. They were soon to know
    All they knew, was beyond their shores
    Was a deadly vicious foe
    They left behind their boring life
    They had nothing much to give
    So they laid their lives on the line
    So you... young man... would live
    With bayonet... Gun... And blossom cheeks
    The innocence of their youth
    They stood alone with fearsome pride
    And perceived the awful truth
    The truth they learnt… they had to die
    (It’s not easy when you’re young)
    The gods of war had chosen them
    And stilled their youthful tongues
    The guns they crashed… and the stukas dived
    The shells tore their flesh asunder
    I smelt their blood… watched them die
    The war lords claimed their plunder
    And as these warrior gods passed by
    They smiled at their obscene death
    Gone were their apple blossom cheeks
    Scorched by napalm burning breath
    We buried them in a blanket shroud
    Their young flesh scorched and blacken
    A communal grave newly gouged
    In the bloodstained gorse and bracken
    And you ask me why I march… young man
    I march to remind you all
    But for those apple blossomed youths
    FREEDOM… would have been lost to ALL
    ANON
     
  11. mwl946

    mwl946 LE Good Egg (charities)

    Keep them coming folks! And thank you.

    Agreed Muggle, air must be dusty this morning........... eyes decidedly moist.
     
  12. mwl946

    mwl946 LE Good Egg (charities)

    You may like to read the one we used last year................
    BUY A POPPY?

    WILL YOU BUY A POPPY, SIR?
    WILL YOU WEAR IT WELL?
    FOR YOU WILL HEAR A BAND, SIR,
    AND NOT A SCREAMING SHELL.
    ITS GOOD TO HEAR YOU RE WELL, SIR,
    AND FEELING IN THE PINK,
    TWO MINUTES ISN’T VERY LONG,
    TO CLOSE YOUR EYES AND THINK.
    WHEN I WAS SMALL I’D SAY “OH MY
    I THINK THAT MAN IS GOING TO CRY”

    WILL YOU BUY A POPPY, SIR,
    WILL YOU WEAR IT PROUD?
    FOR YOU WILL HEAR THE CHILDREN SING,
    NOT ORDERS BARKED OUT LOUD.
    “FIX THOSE BAYONETS, OFF YOU GO,
    AND IF YOU DON’T COME BACK,
    THERE S PLENTY MORE TO FOLLOW YOU,
    BOB, AND BILL, AND JACK”
    FULL GROWN MEN BEGIN TO CRY,
    I OFTEN USED TO WONDER..WHY?

    WILL YOU BUY A POPPY, SIR?
    TONIGHT THERE’LL BE A DANCE,
    BY KIND PERMISSION OF THE MEN
    WHO FOUGHT, AND DIED, IN FRANCE,
    KEEP ON GOING THO ITS BEEN
    A FORTNIGHT SINCE YOU SLEPT,
    FORGET THE ONES YOU LEFT BEHIND,
    FORGET YOUR MOTHER WEPT.
    FORGET? WE SHANT. NOW I KNOW WHY
    ITS NATURAL TO START TO CRY.





    WILL YOU BUY A POPPY SIR?
    WILL YOU GIVE TWENTY PENCE?
    WARS ARE GORY SCENES OF HELL,
    IT MAKES SUCH LITTLE SENSE
    TO HEAR OF LADS OF TENDER YEARS,
    LYING STIFF, AND COLD,
    WHAT COMFORT CAN IT GIVE TO SAY
    THEY SHALL NOT GROW OLD?
    FOR THEM WE GRIEVE AND MOURN AND CRY
    AS ON DEATH’S LONELY FIELD THEY LIE.

    WILL YOU BUY A POPPY, SIR?
    THE BAND MADE SUCH A ROW,
    BUT NOW THEY’RE GOING HOME SIR,
    THINGS ARE QUIET NOW,
    THE POLITICIANS, THEY KNEW BEST,
    AND THEY HAD THEIR WAY,
    PLEASE SIR, BUY THIS POPPY SIR,
    JUST ONE LEFT ON MY TRAY.
    THEN I LL GO HOME SOON, BY AND BY,
    PERHAPS TO THINK, PERHAPS TO CRY
     
  13. spike7451

    spike7451 RIP

    A friend of mine,Michell Edwards wrote this poem

    "The Poppies

    From Flanders fields came cries of pain,
    So much mud and a few yards of gain,
    Young blood spilt in so much vain,
    And then the poppies came.

    Again in France there came the hell,
    More lives lost to the sound of deaths bell,
    More battles fought, there's a tyrant to quell,
    And then the poppies fell.

    In every year more have died,
    For freedom many tears have cried,
    No more casting lives aside,
    Lets wear our poppies; in PRIDE."

    Spike
     
  14. There must be a large number of parts-per-billion of pepper in the air this morning, I've got runny eyes.

    Also: the old traditional "Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn" always makes me cry.
     
  15. B_AND_T

    B_AND_T LE Book Reviewer

    Cheers for that!