Thursday, November 10, 2005

Veteran's Day in a Time of Senseless War

Dear Friends,
I demonstrated against the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq. Tomorrow is Veteran's Day. In honor of the loyal and honorable folks who are fulfilling their vows in the military and National Guard, regardless of any personal feelings about the tasks they have been given or the materiel they have been given to work with, here is a poem by that pre-eminent war poet, Wilfred Owen. You can visit a dynamite website and archive about him at

Anthem for Doomed Youth

What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
-Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells;
Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs,-
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
And bugles calling for them from sad shires.

What candles may be held to speed them all?
Not in the hands of boys but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of good-byes.
The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.

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