Monday, June 28, 2010

Glories of Men and Women (after Sasson).

Glory of Women by Siegfied Sasson

You love us when we're heroes, home on leave,
Or wounded in a mentionable place.
You worship decorations; you believe
That chivalry redeems the war's disgrace.
You make us shells. You listen with delight,
By tales of dirt and danger fondly thrilled.
You crown our distant ardours while we fight,
And mourn our laurelled memories when we're killed.
You can't believe that British troops "retire"
When hell's last horror breaks them, and they run,
Trampling the terrible corpses--blind with blood.
O German mother dreaming by the fire,
While you are knitting socks to send your son
His face is trodden deeper in the mud.

Glory of Men by Simon Bucher-Jones

You play with guns, the stag hunt and the chase.
Since Coriolanus, you’ve equated scars,
With politic advancement, higher place,
Ability to pull the skirt, in bars.
You make us pedestals, unless we’re tarts,
Assume we’re thrilled by all your military tales,
And if we can be honest - someone starts,
Dulce Decorum - and it’s not the frails!
You can’t believe we sweat and not ‘perspire’
That we might strive, see horrors, feel the pain
Of stillbirth or of influenza’s curse,
Seamstresses’ hands that tremble as they tire
Death does not only come with mud and rain
Whether in wars or not, there is a hearse.

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