What are some of your favorite "bleak" poems?

Discussion in 'The Book Rack' started by Binky .357, Jun 10, 2005.

  1. Binky .357

    Binky .357

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    Some of my favorites are "The Wastelands", "Ash Wednesday" and "The Hollow Men" by T.S. Elliot.

    Then there's "The Second Coming" by W.B. Yeats.

    What are your picks?
     
  2. The Pontificator

    The Pontificator Angry Samoan

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    "An Ode to Duty" by William Wordsworth
     

  3. unit 900

    unit 900

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    Green fields of France
    (aka Willie McBride)
    Eric Bogle

    Well how do you do, young Willie McBride,
    do you mind if I sit here down by your graveside
    And rest for a while 'neath the warm summer sun
    I've been working all day and I'm nearly done.
    I see by your gravestone you were only nineteen
    when you joined the dead heroes of nineteen-sixteen.
    I hope you died well and I hope you died clean
    Or Willie McBride, was it slow and obscene.
    Chorus:
    Did they beat the drum slowly,
    did they play the fife lowly,
    did they sound the dead-march
    as they lowered you down.
    did the band play the Last post and chorus.
    Did the pipes play the 'Flowers of the forest'.

    Did you leave a ere a wife or a sweetheart behind
    In some faithful heart is your memory enshrined
    Although you died back in nineteen sixteen
    In that same faithful heart are you forever nineteen
    Or are you a stranger without even a name
    Enclosed and forever behind the glass frame
    In a old photograph, torn and battered and stained
    And faded to yellow in a brown leather frame.

    The sun now it shines on the green fields of France
    There's a warm summer breeze, it makes the red poppies dance
    And look how the sun shines from under the clouds
    There's no gas, no barbed wire, there's no guns firing now
    But here in this graveyard it's still no-man's-land
    The countless white crosses in mute witness stand
    To man's blind indifference to his fellow man
    To a whole generation that were butchered and damned.

    Now Willie McBride I can't help wonder why
    Do all those who lie here know why they died?
    did they believe when they answered the cause
    Did they really believe that this war would end wars?
    Well the sorrows, the suffering, the glory. the pain
    The killing and dying was all done in vain
    For young Willie McBride it all happened again
    And again, and again, and again, and again.
     
  4. GAC

    GAC

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    I've never been able to appreciate much poetry but Wilfred Owen's work has always struck me. Maybe because he died so close to the Armistice. But also because his spare style somehows invokes images in my head.

    Farley Mowat, former Canadian soldier who fought in Italy, had a couple nice pieces I read.

    War poetry has more of an immediacy and the imminent threat implied in the work strikes me more than anything else I've read.
     
  5. The Pontificator

    The Pontificator Angry Samoan

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    Unknown poet:

    "Here I sit all broken-hearted,
    Tried to S&)^ but only farted."

    ;f

    Man, that's bleak. ;)