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Sun Nov 10, 2013, 06:55 AM

Ode of Remembrance.


They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam

Laurence Binyon - 1914.

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Reply Ode of Remembrance. (Original post)
dipsydoodle Nov 2013 OP
intaglio Nov 2013 #1
dipsydoodle Nov 2013 #2
Fortinbras Armstrong Nov 2013 #3

Response to dipsydoodle (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2013, 07:49 AM

1. Supposedly part of it was composed near me at Porthtowan

at least according to a commemorative plaque on the "pepperpot" on Lighthouse Hill

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Response to intaglio (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 10, 2013, 08:15 AM

2. Yes - that vicinity

The poet wrote For the Fallen, which has seven stanzas, while sitting on the cliffs between Pentire Point and The Rumps in north Cornwall, UK. A stone plaque was erected at the spot in 2001 to commemorate the fact. The plaque bears the inscription:

For the Fallen
Composed on these cliffs 1914

There is also a plaque on the beehive monument on the East Cliff above Portreath in central North Cornwall which cites that as the place where Binyon composed the poem. A plaque on a statue dedicated to the fallen in Valleta, Malta is also inscribed with these words.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ode_of_Remembrance

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Response to dipsydoodle (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2013, 08:36 AM

3. My favourite poem from WWI is from Wilfred Owen

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 out 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 tired, outstripped Five-Nines 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 flound'ring 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.


In particular, the last two lines resonate with me. I have experienced war -- the icon at the top of my post is the ribbon of the Vietnam Service Medal, where I learnt first-hand that war is neither sweet nor right.

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