Dulce et Decorum Est
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of disappointed shells that dropped behind.
GAS! Gas! Quick, boys!-- An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And floundering like a man in fire or lime.--
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,--
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.
And in the deep, the dark, the night,
when hope is flagging
and the spirit fire burns low
remember this -
the light returns,
the darkness lifts,
the rush of life for which you yearn
And now begins another turn,
and comes the joy to all who sense the spark of light
still close concealed within the cloak of night.
For many people, found art is primarily tangible, substantial, visual. It is about objects removed from context - and sometimes modified - by the artist, given new context, new significance by being chosen, removed, re-placed, re-visioned as art.
There's always been found poetry out there, too - one of the more well-known mass media examples would be Simon and Garfunkel's "Silent Night/Seven O'Clock News."
I find that my spam filter is a fine source of found poetry, and here is today's poem.
Which too resplendent
At carmela it chysolite
it is unicorn
in a mack.
I don't usually post about memes, even if I do them when I see them in someone else's journal. But this one amused me. I assume that it takes sections of text out of your LJ of the proper length to create a Haiku. The ones it has generated for me have been, well, rather appropriate.
As you all probably know, haiku do not always stand alone as complete poems, but are sometimes parts of a discussion, either within the writing of one individual or as a conversation between two. The several haiku below may be considered in that light.
in prisons and jail
cells and interrogation
rooms and detention
not to ignore the
contributions of all those
behind walls you that
never done nothin' but
build to destroy you
the leaders and law
makers of the so called
suspect that torture
in prisons and jail cells and
might happen both in
terms of the content of their
bodies and is buried
you do let me ask
just one simple question what
the fuck seriously
Out of Sidon and Tyre came the cedars, the cypress, the stones
for the House of the Lord
for the pillars and floors of the Hall of Justice
for the honour and beauty of the City of Peace.
So give orders that cedars of Lebanon
be cut for me.
Through years and wars and the blood of believers
Where is justice?
Where is peace?
Where is the mercy of God?
on the houses, the airports, the highways, the children.
Open your doors, O Lebanon,
so that fire may devour your cedars!
on the hillsides and valleys.
All is flame.
The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars;
the LORD breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.
With the last of the cedars of Lebanon
we build coffins to bury her children.
There’s a poetry meme going around. I picked it up from rainbow_goddess and hawkeye7. Technically speaking, I’m only supposed to post one poem in my journal, but it simply can’t be done. There’s too much soul-touching poetry in the world to say I have only one favourite.
( So here are three of them. )
Lately, I’ve been experiencing a lot of moments that I’ve come to refer to as “snapping points” – moments when I am suddenly, and completely, overwhelmed by a profound intellectual and emotional grief and horror. Today’s snapping point flooded over me as I listened to one of my newly-purchased replacement CDs for old, old albums I haven’t played, sometimes haven’t even owned, for years, because the vinyl was long past its prime condition.
The song was He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother, From Neil Diamond’s Taproot Manuscript. And as I listened to the words, and tried to sing along, as is my habit, I found myself crying. And I realised that we don’t live anymore in a world where a song that says the responsibility of human beings toward each other is not a burden but in fact a source of gladness, is going to be heard over the constant noise of hatred, hunger, greed and war, over the soulless popstar narcissism of private lusts and adolescent desires lost and found.
Of course, there’s still music being written that talks about social justice and personal freedom, about peace and universal love and the search for a better tomorrow for everyone, music that witnesses to the wrongs committed around us and speaks in the voice of the poor, the injured, the outraged, the forgotten, the wounded, the outcast. But it’s not music that is speaking to a whole culture any more.
Where are the new songs of peace, of protest, of union solidarity, of people marching in the streets for peace and true freedom and social justice and human dignity?
"He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother"
The road is long,
with many a winding turn
That leads us to who knows where,
who knows where
But I'm strong,
strong enough to carry him
He ain't heavy - he's my brother
So on we go, his welfare is my concern
No burden is he to bear, we'll get there
For I know he would not encumber me
He ain't heavy - he's my brother
If I'm laden at all, I'm laden with sadness
That everyone's heart isn't filled with gladness
of love for one another
It's a long, long road
from which there is no return
While we're on our way to there,
why not share
And the load,
it doesn't weigh me down at all
He ain't heavy - he's my brother.
by Sidney Russell and Robert Scott, (C)1977 Harrison Music Corp., Jenny Music (ASCAP)