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And Repeat The Old Lie

by azure 

Posted: 06 October 2003
Word Count: 109

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Immovable in line, marching to Rome.
They stand proud. Like punctuation;
Full stops, exclamations,
Whichever sets best the tone

Of young life felled, weeping and bloody,
Buried under crosses. Will those
Butterfly wings, that solemn
Bark soon mark new endings?

Those weathered maudlin sentinels
Cry in hushed tones, soon to feel the
Cold metallic bite, the
Insidious poison

Of approaching death. Extinguished,
Although in late of life not Spring,
Before time had chosen.
Will life ever desire

Life, not bludgeon effacingly?
Or, in those indifferent is
Death deserving? Perhaps
There is no more fitting

Commemoration of wasteful,
Needless loss than to reciprocate
In determined fury
A cold mechanical glory.

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Comments by other Members

Richard Brown at 17:50 on 11 May 2004  Report this post
I was struck by the first line, probably because of the contradiction between 'immovable' and 'marching'. I had to read the poem a few times to form my own assessment of its meaning but I'm still unsure as to whether or not I am on the right lines. War, certainly, the loss of young lives, and a conclusion that the only riposte to such waste is more waste?An eye for an eye?
A bleak message...but maybe I misunderstood.

Elizabeth at 20:36 on 13 April 2005  Report this post
This is a powerful and moving piece, with some fine imagery. I think that the idea of the stone crosses of dead soldiers "marching to Rome/like punctuation marks" superbly evokes the long history of wars, the endless cycle of repetition and futility.

Thank you for letting us read this.


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