Journal For Poetry Challenge#7 15,01,2012

 Journal For Poetry Challenge#7 15,01,2012

Sir Herbert Read photograph Sir Herbert Edward Read (1893-1968), the poet and critic, was born in Yorkshire in 1893.

His college studies, at Leeds University, were interrupted by the outbreak of the First World War, in which he served with the Yorkshire Regiment in France and Belgium.  During his service he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) and Military Cross in the same year, 1918.

He continued to publish poetry for the remainder of his life, his final volume, Collected Poems, being published in 1966. Knighted in 1953 by Churchill for services to literature, Sir Herbert Read, who married twice, died on 12 June 1968.

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Herbert Read (1893-1968)
“The Happy Warrior”

His wild heart beats with painful sobs,
His strin’d hands clench an ice-cold rifle,
His aching jaws grip a hot parch’d tongue,
His wide eyes search unconsciously.

He cannot shriek.

Bloody saliva
Dribbles down his shapeless jacket.

I saw him stab
And stab again
A well-killed Boche.

This is the happy warrior,
This is he…

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The poem shows the dirty horrible side of war. The blind terror, the mental agony the mind so numbed with fear that the soldier  slobbers un- known. This is what was laughingly known as the happy warrior, this happy band! So sad so very sad.

Poetry Challenge #7 is to create a journal of links and your reactions to poems by established (living or dead poets.) Details are here.  Example response is here. Mr. Linky for Challenge #7 is directly below:

14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. catcherofstars
    Jan 15, 2012 @ 20:40:27

    War is such an ugly thing, thank you for sharing that sad but true poem, I had not heard of it before.
    Andrea

    Reply

  2. Tess
    Jan 15, 2012 @ 21:47:53

    short but so succinct highlighting the brutality and futility of war.

    Reply

  3. Cat Forsley
    Jan 16, 2012 @ 08:06:53

    Reply

  4. rumpydog
    Jan 16, 2012 @ 12:04:47

    Kinda makes ya understand where those kids urinating on those corpses were coming from.

    Reply

    • willowdot21
      Jan 16, 2012 @ 12:54:12

      Yes it is a funny thing. We like would be up in arms were it the other way around…But they do say all is fair in love and war. And this is a dirty war. Who knows what those lads have been through to do this!

      Reply

  5. Vampire Weather
    Jan 17, 2012 @ 18:08:50

    Wow. This is intense and gripping. Perfect.

    Reply

  6. willofheart
    Jan 17, 2012 @ 22:25:11

    yes indeed, war is cruel and leaves no mercy, thanks for sharing this piece …

    Reply

  7. Unsungpoet
    Jan 26, 2012 @ 18:20:34

    This is very interesting…

    Reply

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