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War Poems

Discussion in 'Poetry' started by Hobilar, May 5, 2008.

  1. Hobilar

    Hobilar Senior Member

    Nov 25, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Private Jock McDade

    He's a braw, braw Hielan' laddie,
    Private Jock McDade
    Theres' no' another like him
    In the Scots Brigade.
    Reared among the heather,
    Ye' can tell he's Scottish built
    By the wig wig wiggle wiggle waggle
    O' his kilt.

    (Chorus of a marching song, 1914-1918)
  2. Hobilar

    Hobilar Senior Member

    Nov 25, 2007
    Likes Received:

    You seamen, I have eaten your hard bread
    And drunken from your tin, and known your ways;
    I understand the qualities I praise
    Though lacking all, with only words instead.

    I tell you this, that in the future time
    When landsmen mention sailors, such, or such,
    Someone will say, "Those fellows were sublime
    Who brought the Armies from the Germans' clutch."

    Through the long time the story will be told;
    Long centuries of praise on English lips,
    Of courage godlike and of hearts of gold
    Off Dunquerque beaches in the little ships.

    And ships will dip their colours in salute
    To you, henceforth, when passing Zuydecoote.

    John Mansfield OM
    Half Track and higge like this.
  3. Hobilar

    Hobilar Senior Member

    Nov 25, 2007
    Likes Received:
    With the ship burning in their eye
    The white faces float like refuse
    In the darkness-the water screwing
    Oily circles where the hot steel lies.

    They clutch with fingers frozen into claws
    The lifebelts thrown from a destroyer
    And see , between the future’s doors,
    The gasping entrance of the sea.

    Taken on board as many as lived, who
    Had a mind left for living and the ocean,
    They open eyes running with surf,
    Heavy with the grey ghosts of explosion.

    The meaning is not yet clear,
    Where daybreak died in the smile-
    And the mouth remained stiff
    And grinning, stupid for a little while.

    But soon they joke, easy and warm,
    As, men will who have died once
    Yet somehow were able to find their way-
    Muttering this was not included in their pay.

    Later, sleepless at night, the brain spinning
    With cracked images, they won’t forget
    The confusion and the oily dead,
    Not yet the casual knack of living.

    Author: Lieutenant Alan Ross RNVR
  4. Hobilar

    Hobilar Senior Member

    Nov 25, 2007
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    'Action stations', Tin hats and apprehension;
    Rush to guns and hoses, engine room
    And wireless office. Air of tension.
    Eyes uplifted and some seawards gazing.
    Ears are straining for a distant 'boom',
    Or roar of engines, Lips are phrasing
    Prayers, maybe, or curse upon the Hun.
    Friendly aircraft in the distance loom
    And are gone. Minutes pass...'Carry On'.

    Midshipman John Wedge RNVR
  5. Canberra Man

    Canberra Man Member

    Mar 25, 2008
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    This poem was credited to Richard Hillary, but was written by a Canadian, John Magee.
    Oh: I have slipped the surly bonds of earth and danced the skies on laughter silvered wings.
    Sunward I've climbed and joined the tumbling mirth and done a hundred things
    you have not dreamed of.
    Wheeled and soared and swung,
    High in the sunlit silence, hov'ring there.
    I've chased the shouting wind along and flung,
    My eager craft thru footless halls of air.
    Up, up the long delerious burning blue.
    I've topped the wind swept heights with easy grace
    Where never lark or even eagle flew.
    and while with silent lifting mind i've trod.
    The high untrespassed sancity of space.
    Put out my hand and touched the face of God.
    John Magee.

    If there is anyone there without a wet eye, they are a stronger man than I.

  6. juustpaul

    juustpaul New Member

    Aug 9, 2017
    Likes Received:
    Newcastle, Ontario, Canada
    This is a reading of a poem by my father, Michael Arthur Mason, a member of the RAF during the last year of the war. He is soon to be 93 and his voice is no longer steady, so I have read it for him. The text of the poem is posted below the reading.

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