A Beautiful Poem on War

by marthastephens

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KILLED IN ACTION

Kathe Kollwitz

            I wear a visor that says War Is Not the Answer, and I’m sure many agree with that sentiment, my friends.  We hear rumors of war these days, as on so many days, and I like to recall the beautiful poems of the past about the pity and pointlessness of war.  Please read — or  reread — this gentle and extraordinary verse by Walt Whitman.              

             During the Civil War, Whitman was a nurse in an Army hospital in Washington D. C.  He saw the festering wounds, the piteous deaths, of those on both sides of the conflict, and he wrote that he could no longer believe in this war — or any war, no matter how great its theme or  justification.

                                               RECONCILIATION

Word over all, beautiful as the sky,
Beautiful that war and all its deeds of carnage must in time be utterly lost,
That the hands of the sisters Death and Night incessantly softly wash again, and ever again, this soil’d world;
For my enemy is dead, a man divine as myself is dead,
I look where he lies white-faced and still in the coffin—I draw near,
Bend down and touch lightly with my lips the blanched face in the coffin.

 

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The Living and the Dead

Kathe Kollwitz (1867-1945)

MORE POEMS on war to come, my friends, in Posts for this blog.  I hope we can find comfort in beautiful writings about the Planet Earth and all its tribulations.  ##

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