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View Diary: Indigo Kalliope: Poems from the Left: Good morning and good night! (5 comments)

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  •  Willow Wood by William Jay Smith (5+ / 0-)

    I just wanted to share this poem that I love by a poet of whom I remain in awe.  This is one of the best anti-war poems ever written.  Mr Smith was a poet laureate of the US, Rhodes Scholar, and a Democratic state representative in the 1960s in Vermont.  He remains as brilliant as ever and committed to progressive Democratic causes in his 95th year as in his youth.  

    I believe he wrote this poem about the war in Iraq.


    Willow Wood

    The wood of the willow tree has long been a component of artificial legs.

        The soldier spoke up and said, "God bless the willows!
        On willow wood I walk: come with me down
        this lovely country lane outside of town."
        The soldier spoke up and spoke for the other fellows.

        "I lost both legs," he said, "in a roadside blast;
        they swirled off into the sand where I'd come to fight,
        and follow me now when I awake at night
        and walk as in a dream far into the past . . .

        "And walk to the edge of my youth where weeping willows
        brush the cold spring water clear and sweet,
        where I kick and swim and cut through summer heat
        in a burst of joy with all the other fellows.

        "The years go by, and still those willows bend
        above that spring moss-rimmed by memory,
        and in reflection weep, but not for me,
        but for a world whose wars will never end."

    "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of the United States of America -9.75 -6.87

    by Uncle Moji on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 04:55:24 PM PDT

    •  Thanks for the poetry. (4+ / 0-)

      Glad someone has written
      poetry for peace
      inspired by the sorrow
      over the war in Iraq.

      An old man told me,
      thirty years ago,
      when he was old and I was young,
      he told me a different version
      of the old Civil War song,
      "When Johnny Comes Marching Home"
      and the meaning was similar to that poem.

      Lots of missing limbs in that war, too.

      Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye  

       Where are your legs that used to run, hurroo, hurroo
      Where are your legs that used to run, hurroo, hurroo
      Where are your legs that used to run
      When you went to carry a gun
      Indeed your dancing days are done
      Oh Johnny, I hardly knew ye.  

      The verse before that seems to be
      about post traumatic stress disorder:

       Where are the eyes that looked so mild, hurroo, hurroo
      Where are the eyes that looked so mild, hurroo, hurroo
      Where are the eyes that looked so mild
      When my poor heart you first beguiled
      Why did ye scadaddle from me and the child
      Oh Johnny, I hardly knew ye.  

      Thanks again.

      Bringing a child into the world at this point in history is a crime, the crime of child endangerment.

      by bigjacbigjacbigjac on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 04:25:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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