November 11, 2003

War poetry

Grantland Rice is better known for his sportswriting than for his poetry, but he worked for the nascent Stars and Stripes newspaper in Europe during WW I. He wrote this in the '20s, I think. I found it at Poetry of the First World War.

Two Sides of War

All wars are planned by older men
In council rooms apart,
Who call for greater armament
And map the battle chart.

But out along the shattered field
Where golden dreams turn gray,
How very young the faces were
Where all the dead men lay.

Portly and solemn in their pride,
The elders cast their vote
For this or that, or something else,
That sounds the martial note.

But where their sightless eyes stare out
Beyond life's vanished toys,
I've noticed nearly all the dead
Were hardly more than boys.

~Grantland Rice

Posted by Linkmeister at November 11, 2003 10:06 AM

Thank you so much.

My thoughts exactly. I find the whole war thing wrong. If the old guys want it, let them go out and duke it out. Leave our boys alone

Posted by: Cassie-B at November 11, 2003 02:55 PM

I've heard that sentiment a lot over the years; I wonder if this poem was the impetus for the thought. I'd never read/heard the poem before today.

Posted by: Linkmeister at November 11, 2003 03:03 PM

Thanks, Steve..

Posted by: toxiclabrat at November 12, 2003 05:41 AM

Regardless of the age and time, this is a truism. I've thought about it many, many times over the course of my life. It's difficult to relate how it makes me feel.

Posted by: ruminator at November 14, 2003 04:16 PM