War Poems: By H erman M endoza War Poems Memorial Day For The War Dead by Yehuda Amichai : Memorial Day For The War Dead by Yehuda Amichai The flautist's mouth will stay like that for many days. A dead soldier swims above little heads with the swimming movements of the dead, with the ancient error the dead have about the place of the living water. A flag loses contact with reality and flies off. A shop window is decorated with dresses of beautiful women, in blue and white. And everything in three languages: Hebrew, Arabic, and Death. A great and royal animal is dying all through the night under the jasmine tree with a constant stare at the world. A man whose son died in the war walks in the street like a woman with a dead embryo in her womb. "Behind all this some great happiness is hiding." Memorial day for the war dead. Add now the grief of all your losses to their grief, even of a woman that has left you. Mix sorrow with sorrow, like time-saving history, which stacks holiday and sacrifice and mourning on one day for easy, convenient memory. Oh, sweet world soaked, like bread, in sweet milk for the terrible toothless God. "Behind all this some great happiness is hiding." No use to weep inside and to scream outside. Behind all this perhaps some great happiness is hiding. Memorial day. Bitter salt is dressed up as a little girl with flowers. The streets are cordoned off with ropes, for the marching together of the living and the dead. Children with a grief not their own march slowly, like stepping over broken glass. The War Films by Sir Henry Newbolt : The War Films by Sir Henry Newbolt O living pictures of the dead, O songs without a sound, O fellowship whose phantom tread Hallows a phantom ground -- How in a gleam have these revealed The faith we had not found. We have sought God in a cloudy Heaven, We have passed by God on earth: His seven sins and his sorrows seven, His way worn mood and mirth, Like a ragged cloak have hid from us The secret of his birth. Brother of men, when now I see The lads go forth in line, Thou knowest my heart is hungry in me As for thy bread and wine; Thou knowest my heart is bowed in me To take their death for mine. At the Vietnam War Memorial by Craig Erick Chaffin : At the Vietnam War Memorial by Craig Erick Chaffin Black granite stretches its harsh, tapering wings up to pedestrian-level grass but sucks me down, here, at the intersection of names. I forgive, I must, though I wish something could heal this wound in the earth. Behold, all theorists, the price of theory: extreme unction by napalm and blood, vets shipped home whole or in pieces: The VA grants prostheses but not minds free of horror. In jungles tumescent, through villages of straw, by the Mekong where catfish sleep in mud-heaven, we tramped, disarming mines and flushing tunnels, killing women and children for potential collaboration, smoking Thai-stick until stuporous— still, the sound of Charlie played on every frond. Beat against this polished rock, America, this vast projective surface for your sins, wear your bloody heart out. It's not how many died but that they died in vain, achieving nothing except our grief for them. It's said you cannot write a good poem until recollected in tranquility. Let this then be a bad poem, bad as the war, dividing author from reader and reader from page. Let it drive a wedge between fathers and sons. Let fathers mistake rebellion for disloyalty, let sons mistake honor for stupidity, let senators mistake appropriation for commitment, let mothers confuse waste with sacrifice, let sisters turn to prostitution to forget. Let teachers suicide in public in partial recompense, let preachers castrate themselves for passive assent, let everything in America that breathes hang its head in irrefragable shame. Here is the legacy of your assumptions, here the necropolis of your dark-suited wisdom: A city set in a pit cannot be hid.. The Black Hawk War of the Artists by Vachel Lindsay : The Black Hawk War of the Artists by Vachel Lindsay Hawk of the Rocks, Yours is our cause to-day. Watching your foes Here in our war array, Young men we stand, Wolves of the West at bay. Power, power for war Comes from these trees divine; Power from the boughs, Boughs where the dew-beads shine, Power from the cones Yea, from the breath of the pine! Power to restore All that the white hand mars. See the dead east Crushed with the iron cars— Chimneys black Blinding the sun and stars! Hawk of the pines, Hawk of the plain-winds fleet, You shall be king There in the iron street, Factory and forge Trodden beneath your feet There will proud trees Grow as they grow by streams. There will proud thoughts Walk as in warrior dreams. There will proud deeds Bloom as when battle gleams! Warriors of Art, We will hold council there, Hewing in stone Things to the trapper fair, Painting the gray Veils that the spring moons wear, This our revenge, This one tremendous change: Making new towns, Lit with a star-fire strange, Wild as the dawn Gilding the bison-range. All the young men Chanting your cause that day, Red-men, new-made Out of the Saxon clay, Strong and redeemed, Bold in your war-array! Repression of War Experience by Siegfried Sassoon : Repression of War Experience by Siegfried Sassoon Now light the candles; one; two; there’s a moth; What silly beggars they are to blunder in And scorch their wings with glory, liquid flame— No, no, not that,—it’s bad to think of war, When thoughts you’ve gagged all day come back to scare you; And it’s been proved that soldiers don’t go mad Unless they lose control of ugly thoughts That drive them out to jabber among the trees. Now light your pipe; look, what a steady hand. Draw a deep breath; stop thinking; count fifteen, And you’re as right as rain... Why won’t it rain?... I wish there’d be a thunder-storm to-night, With bucketsful of water to sluice the dark, And make the roses hang their dripping heads. Books; what a jolly company they are, Standing so quiet and patient on their shelves, Dressed in dim brown, and black, and white, and green, And every kind of colour. Which will you read? Come on; O do read something; they’re so wise. I tell you all the wisdom of the world Is waiting for you on those shelves; and yet You sit and gnaw your nails, and let your pipe out, And listen to the silence: on the ceiling There’s one big, dizzy moth that bumps and flutters; And in the breathless air outside the house The garden waits for something that delays. There must be crowds of ghosts among the trees,— Not people killed in battle,—they’re in France,— But horrible shapes in shrouds—old men who died Slow, natural deaths,—old men with ugly souls, Who wore their bodies out with nasty sins. . . . . You’re quiet and peaceful, summering safe at home; You’d never think there was a bloody war on!... O yes, you would ... why, you can hear the guns. Hark! Thud, thud, thud,—quite soft ... they never cease— Those whispering guns—O Christ, I want to go out And screech at them to stop—I’m going crazy; I’m going stark, staring mad because of the guns. I got your back by herman mendoza: I got your back by herman mendoza I am a small child my dads been sent to fight , The only place I see his face is my dreams at night, He'll be gone to many days for my young mind to keep track, I may be sad but I am proud, My dads got your back, I am a caring son who's dad has gone to war , My mind is killed by worries that I have never known before, Every day I keep my thoughts from going black , I am scared but I am proud, M y dads got your back, I am a strong and loving son with a dad soon to go , There are times I am terrified in a way most will never know, I look at the roof and force a smile as I watch my dad pack, I am sad but I am proud, My dads got your back, A Toast to our Native Land by Robert Bridges : A Toast to our Native Land by Robert Bridges Huge and alert, irascible yet strong, We make our fitful way 'mid right and wrong. One time we pour out millions to be free, Then rashly sweep an empire from the sea! One time we strike the shackles from the slaves, And then, quiescent, we are ruled by knaves. Often we rudely break restraining bars, And confidently reach out toward the stars. Yet under all there flows a hidden stream Sprung from the Rock of Freedom, the great dream Of Washington and Franklin, men of old Who knew that freedom is not bought with gold. This is the Land we love, our heritage, Strange mixture of the gross and fine, yet sage And full of promise destined to be great. Drink to Our Native Land! God Bless the State . Dirge by George H. Boker : Dirge by George H. Boker Close his eyes; his work is done ! What to him is friend or foeman , Rise of moon, or set of sun, Hand of man, or kiss of woman? Lay him low, lay him low, In the clover or the snow! What cares he? he can not know: Lay him low! As man may, he fought his fight , Proved his truth by his endeavor; Let him sleep in solemn night, Sleep forever and forever. Lay him low, lay him low, In the clover or the snow! What cares he? he can not know: Lay him low! Fold him in his country's stars, Roll the drum and fire the volley! What to him are all our wars , What but death bemocking folly? Lay him low, lay him low, In the clover or the snow! What cares he? he can not know: Lay him low! Leave him to God's watching eye, Trust him to the hand that made him . Mortal love weeps idly by: God alone has power to aid him , Lay him low, lay him low, In the clover or the snow! What cares he? he can not know: Lay him low! I Hear an Army by James Joyce : I Hear an Army by James Joyce I hear an army charging upon the land, And the thunder of horses plunging; foam about their knees : Arrogant, in black armour, behind them stand, Disdaining the reins, with fluttering whips, the Charioteers. They cry into the night their battle name: I moan in sleep when I hear afar their whirling laughter. They cleave the gloom of dreams, a blinding flame, Clanging, clanging upon the heart as upon an anvil. They come shaking in triumph their long grey hair: They come out of the sea and run shouting by the shore. My heart, have you no wisdom thus to despair? My love, my love, my love, why have you left me alone? WARs by Carl Sandburg : WARs by Carl Sandburg IN the old wars drum of hoofs and the beat of shod feet. In the new wars hum of motors and the tread of rubber tires. In the wars to come silent wheels and whirr of rods not yet dreamed out in the heads of men. In the old wars clutches of short swords and jabs into faces with spears. In the new wars long range guns and smashed walls, guns running a spit of metal and men falling in tens and twenties. In the wars to come new silent deaths, new silent hurlers not yet dreamed out in the heads of men. In the old wars kings quarreling and thousands of men following. In the new wars kings quarreling and millions of men following. In the wars to come kings kicked under the dust and millions of men following great causes not yet dreamed out in the heads of men.