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View Diary: Shaw's father wanted no monument (32 comments)

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  •  Personally I think Kipling (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gpclay, BentLiberal

    would be more appropriate than Robert Lowell or Whitman, both of whom were writing about a war that was ultimately against slavery.

    The war on Iraq is a brutal imperial war designed to steal resources from an impoverished country.

    So let me post the most appropriate poem for this Memorial Day.

    Take up the White Man's burden--
    In patience to abide,
    To veil the threat of terror
    And check the show of pride;
    By open speech and simple,
    An hundred times made plain
    To seek another's profit,
    And work another's gain.

    •  while you may think Kipling most appropriate (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gpclay, samddobermann

      and of course you are welcome to share, I am afraid I must disagree.  The purpose of what I posted was to have how poets - and Lincoln - looked at our own experience and understood it.  And because on Memorial Day we acknowledge loss, the issue is not that of why we fought or they died, but how we mourn, and why, Kipling is particularly NOT relevant to the thrust of my diary.

      Those who can, do. Those who can do more, TEACH!

      by teacherken on Tue May 29, 2007 at 02:51:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ernst Junger and Freikorps Literature (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gpclay, samddobermann

        The problem with the literature you cite is that it was written when the United States was a constitutional republic with a tradition of civil liberties, no large standing army.

        I've been reading Robert Lowell and Whitman for years and what struck me was how incredibly inappropriate and forced they seemed. The majority of people in the United States most into the military culture would probably call Lowell and Whitman "wussies".

        Maybe even Kipling wouldn't fit.

        What the US "honor the miltary" culture genuinely reminds me of, with its "Rolling Thunder" motorcycle rides, its MIA worshippers, its bumper stickers, magnets, popular literature, TV shows is quite honestly the Freikorps writings from the early 1920s. I'd say Ernst Junger but he's just too good a writer in some ways.

        Lincoln and Whitman were writing as part of a culture that questioned militarism and questioned the idea of a permanent military and bureaucracy.

        American culture has moved on.

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