Two Tiny Poems on War — Sad and Funny Ones; and One Verse That Is Not Funny at All

by marthastephens


      The animals have arrived!  This is the gate they have been seeking -- to a world without war!

THE ANIMALS HAVE ARRIVED!  This is the gate they have been seeking — to a world without war!

And here, my friends, are two of their favorite poems.  Please take a look, and then read below a verse by a young soldier who died in World War I.  His poem is called The Parable of the Old Men and the Young.


Poem One

  WAR

Dawn came slowly

Almost not at all.

The sun crept over the hill

Cautiously

Fearful of being hit

By mortar fire.

— by Dan Roth.  See his poems on allthesedays.org



Poem Two

EARTH

“A planet doesn’t explode by itself,” said drily

The Marian astronomer, gazing off into the air.

“That they were able to do it is proof that highly

Intelligent brings must have been living there.”

By John Hall Wheelock (1886-1978)


 


 

Wilfred Owens

Wilfred Owen 1886-1978

The poem by Owen below, Parable of the Old Men and the Young,  became famous at one time for expressing this somber truth: that in wartime old men send young men to their deaths.


Owen had been writing  brilliantly for some years about his experiences in World War I, when he was shot to death on the front lines — one day before the armistice was signed.

His poem is based on the familiar Bible story about Abraham and Isaac.  God instructed Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac rather than the  lamb he had brought for slaughter, but an angel appears to say NO to this act.

Owen writes below that in WW I fathers did not decline, as Abram did, to kill their sons.  They would not go against their pride in the glories of war.


Poem Three 

PARABLE OF THE OLD MEN AND THE YOUNG 


So Abram rose, and clave the wood, and went,

And took the fire with him, and a knife.

And as they sojourned both of them together,

Isaac the first-born spake and said, My Father,

Behold the preparations, fire and iron,

But where the lamb for this burnt-offering?

Then Abram bound the youth with belts and straps,

And builded parapets and trenches there,

And stretchèd forth the knife to slay his son.

When lo! an angel called him out of heaven,

Saying, Lay not thy hand upon the lad,

Neither do anything to him. Behold,

A ram, caught in a thicket by its horns;

Offer the Ram of Pride instead of him.

But the old man would not so, but slew his son,

And half the seed of Europe, one by one.  ##


Friends, please let me know below whether you like these poems or not.  

Is Poem Three a difficult verse?

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