Poetry? Maybe it isnt all arty farty bull?

Discussion in 'Poetry Corner' started by batus_survivor, Jul 8, 2008.

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  1. This will be what a recent breakup, a bottle of wine and a book from when you joined the military book club years ago, but just came across this from JK Chesterton of all people. Never knew he did war poetry but there you go:

    Elegy in a Country Churchyard

    The men that worked for England
    They have their graves at home:
    And birds and bees of England
    About the cross can roam.

    But they that fought for England,
    Following a falling star,
    Alas, alas for England
    They have their graves afar.

    And they that rule in England,
    In stately conclave met,
    Alas, alas for England
    They have no graves as yet.

    And of course the old Kipling classics:

    If any question why we died,
    Tell them, because our fathers lied.

    I have slain none except my Mother. She
    (Blessing her slayer) died of grief for me.
  2. Robert Louis Stevenson.

    Not exactly a military hero, but a great author and poet.

    He wrote these words on hearing of the death of a friend who had died whilst serving.

    I know not how, but as I count
    The former beads of years,
    Old laughter catches in my throat,
    With the very feel of tears.
  3. I wandered lonely as a cloud
    Pssied as fcuk and singing loud

    the coppers came, I ran away
    I will live to drink another day

  4. Thanks Taffnp - I needed that :-D
  5. I like Taffnp's one :)

    As proof that the beancounters have always done their utmost to deny our Navy (and other defence forces) sufficient money to do the job, here are snips from a poem called HMS Foudroyant by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle:

    Who says the Nation's purse is lean,
    Who fears for claim or bond or debt,
    When all the glories that have been
    Are scheduled as a cash asset?
    If times are bleak and trade is slack,
    If coal and cotton fail at last,
    We've something left to barter yet
    Our glorious past.
  6. Right - back to self indulgent misery making. This one never fails to get me, even in a good mood:

    The Life That I Have

    The life that I have
    Is all that I have
    And the life that I have
    Is yours

    The love that I have
    Of the life that I have
    Is yours and yours and yours.

    A sleep I shall have
    A rest I shall have
    Yet death will be but a pause
    For the peace of my years
    In the long green grass
    Will be yours and yours and yours.

    Edited to add this:

    Note to self - stop drinking in this mood.
  7. Siegfried Sassoon

    I knew a simple soldier boy
    Who grinned at life in empty joy,
    Slept soundly through the lonesome dark,
    And whistled early with the lark.

    In winter trenches,cowed and glum.
    With crumps and lice and lack of rum,
    He put a bullet through his brain,
    No one spoke of him again.

    You smug faced crowds with kindling eye,
    Who cheer when soldier lads march by,
    Sneak home and pray you'll never know
    The hell where youth and laughter go.
  8. Oh, thanks very much Idontbelieveit - like I was cheerful before :)
    Some more Sassoon:

    The Bishop tells us: 'When the boys come back
    They will not be the same; for they'll have fought
    In a just cause: they lead the last attack
    On Anti-Christ; their comrades' blood has bought
    New right to breed an honourable race,
    They have challenged Death and dared him face to face.'

    'We're none of us the same!' the boys reply.
    'For George has lost both his legs; and Bill's stone blind'
    Poor Jim's shot through through the lungs and like to die;
    And Bert's gone syphiliticl; you'll not find
    A chap who's served that hasn't found some change.'
    And the Bishop said: 'The ways of God are strange.'

    Am I really trading poems on Arrse at half midnight?!
  9. Oh yes you are!!

    I give you my boyfriend's genius!

    Showers make you sheepish.
    Baths make you bashful.
    Use lots of shower gel, or you will smell..
    Don't forget your rubber duck
    ...Or take your partner in, to fcuk.

    Night night all xx

    Edited for spelling :roll:
  10. Hehehe. Best idea I've heard all week!

  11. Boyfriend yours, wise is he
    Much truth his words be.
    For soap may make his body clean
    but his c0ck very slippery....

    And for some more non-poetry but still also very true (8 years a civvy):

    A story: A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands, love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper; his hands remember the rifle.
  12. ALL of Eliot's The Wasteland is gold but I'd have to quote the whole thing to demonstrate the landscape he creates.

    Gotta try a bit of Byron (how can anyone not love a poem entitled "The Destruction of Sennacherib"?) just for the metre:

    The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,
    And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold;
    And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea,
    When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee.


    If I've killed one man, I've killed two ----
    The vampire who said he was you
    And drank my blood for a year,
    Seven years, if you want to know.
    Daddy, you can lie back now.

    (The problem is that quoting one verse just doesn't do her justice.)

    And this one which in many ways says it all:


    Remeber me when I am gone away,
    Gone far away into the silent land;
    When you can no more hold me by the hand,
    Nor I half turn to go, yet turning stay.
    Remember me when no more day by day
    You tell me of our future that you plann'd:
    Only remember me; you understand
    It will be late to counsel then or pray.
    Yet if you should forget me for a while
    And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
    For if the darkness and corruption leave
    A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
    Better by far you should forget and smile
    Than that you should remember and be sad.
  13. Though he, that ever kind and true,
    Kept stoutly step by step with you,
    Your whole long, gusty lifetime through,
    Be gone a while before,
    Be now a moment gone before,
    Yet, doubt not, soon the seasons shall restore
    Your friend to you.

    He has but turned the corner -- still
    He pushes on with right good will,
    Through mire and marsh, by heugh and hill,
    That self-same arduous way --
    That self-same upland, hopeful way,
    That you and he through many a doubtful day
    Attempted still.

    He is not dead, this friend -- not dead,
    But in the path we mortals tread
    Got some few, trifling steps ahead
    And nearer to the end;
    So that you too, once past the bend,
    Shall meet again, as face to face, this friend
    You fancy dead.

    Push gaily on, strong heart! The while
    You travel forward mile by mile,
    He loiters with a backward smile
    Till you can overtake,
    And strains his eyes to search his wake,
    Or whistling, as he sees you through the brake,
    Waits on a stile.

    The Departed Friend, By R.L.Stevenson, who died only aged 44 himself (sniff)
  14. Ord_Sgt

    Ord_Sgt RIP

    I have always liked this one:

    Do not stand at my grave and weep,
    I am not there, I do not sleep.

    (1) I am a thousand winds that blow.
    I am the diamond glint on snow.
    I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
    I am the gentle autumn rain.

    (2) When you wake in the morning hush,
    I am the swift, uplifting rush
    Of quiet birds in circling flight.
    I am the soft starlight at night.

    (3) I am the song that will never end.
    I am the love of family and friend.
    I am the child who has come to rest
    In the arms of the Father who knows him best.

    (4) When you see the sunset fair,
    I am the scented evening air.
    I am the joy of a task well done.
    I am the glow of the setting sun.

    Do not stand at my grave and weep.
    I am not there, I do not sleep.
    (Do not stand at my grave and cry.
    I am not there, I did not die!)
  15. On yonder hill..
    there stood a coo..
    it must have moved,
    'cos it's no there noo.