Monday, November 12, 2012

taking up arms

Verdun, 1917 by Felix Vallotton

taking up arms
©2012 susan noyes anderson

then and now, war is the same
guts and glory, brawn and blame
rage, remorse, and alibis
searing truth and crushing lies
faithless enemies and friends
vengeance tempered by amends
justice dealt in bloody blows
raining down on faceless foes

imperfection marks us all
some will rise and some will fall
man will heed the battle call
man will heed the battle call

My poem, inspired by Vallotton's representation of WWI's battle at Verdun, is intended to portray the intrinsic horrors and impieties of war. It does not, however, represent a flat anti-war statement on my part. Like any mother, I am deeply disturbed by the violence that characterizes our world, and I would like to see more peaceful solutions to international problems. Having said that, I cannot deny that war is sometimes necessary, as it was in WWII. Sadly, identifying that necessity (or lack thereof) is a lot easier to do after the fact, and we have fought some wars that could and should have been avoided. I hope we will never let that reality diminish our gratitude for the brave men and women who have risen up in good faith to defend our country through the years. The debt that we owe them for their selfless service can never be repaid. Thanks to them, when evil does rear its ugly head against our nation, there will always be an answer. 

My prayer is that our leaders might be inspired with the wisdom to know when we must take action and when we must not––that the blood of our courageous troops need never be spilled in a cause that is undeserving of their devotion to duty and country.

Happy Veteran's Day!


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34 comments:

EG CameraGirl said...

Thoughtful words beautifully written, Sue.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Beautifully written, Sue. It was always my fear that my son and now my grandsons would have to go to war. I pray for a peaceful world for all!

Laraine Eddington said...

Beautiful poem and great essay. You and I are on the same page.

Amy said...

So very true on so many levels. What a blessing it is to live in this heat land of freedom, but what awesome sacrifices have been made for this freedom of ours!

Brian Miller said...

i like this as much for the verse as your notes after...and i agree...i wish we could come to more peaceful solutions but you are correct that it is sometimes necessary...and there are those with strength to step in that gap...

De said...

Beautifully done. Your rhyme and repetition work so well for you here.

de
whimsygizmo.wordpress.com

Janie said...

I disagree with everyone else. It wasn't beautiful at all... it was magnificent! Did I scare you ;) Great tribute to the veterans.

Dixie Mom said...

Amen! War is horrible. Sometimes necessary, but horrible. And I don't wish it on anyone.

Wander said...

Very nice piece Sue...very nice, and I follow your sentiments as well

Wander

SilverGardenia said...

I liked your alliteration. Nice poem.

Helen said...

The combination of your words and music choice .... very moving!

yaya said...

Love the poem and love our Vets..I too wish and pray for peace and also the smarts to know when to back away.

Daydreamertoo said...

So well said Sue. War changes people. And, unless they have no conscience, killing another human being must change a person too, even if it is a them or you situation. I think this world is so driven by ego, greed and the love of power now, world peace is just a dream. Maybe it would take a world catastrophe to occur for us to have a global wake up call and unite us as we always should have been.
Very poignant post.
RYN: My neighbours son is a sniper and just returned from Afghanistan, he doesn't want to talk about anything that happened there at all. Not surprising, really.

karen said...

So perfectly stated, Sue. The poem is stirring, but I agree with Natalie - your words beneath are what got my heart going. Lovely and noble sentiment - let's pray it becomes reality.

ReBelle said...

I just finished performing in a concert to honor vets, cried throughout the end of a particular piece but managed to keep playing, so coming here to hear your music and read your words caught me raw. I tip my hat to you.

Grandma Yellow Hair said...

Beautifully written Sue.
Thanks for sharing this with us.
God Bless All Our Veterans.
Love
Maggie

Leovi said...

Excellent poem. War is undoubtedly the worst side of humanity.

richlyevocative said...

Well caught. Some things never change, or never seem to.

Berowne said...

Not only an important message, but you show respect for both meter and rhyme. Rare, in the blogging world.

kaykuala said...

then and now, war is the same
guts and glory, brawn and blame

Your opening lines sum up everything, Sue! It does not really matter when. War is the same with all the gory stuff and nothing but to blame, blame and blame! Nicely!

Hank

Caroline said...

I love the veterans of this great nation and I loved your poem.

Your words and your explanation are as always, filled with the wisdom of a woman of faith.

I'm am so grateful to all the men and women who have served and sacrificed for this country. They serve and make sacrifices and leave their families and often put themselves in harms way so that we may achieve that hope of peace. I hope for that for the future of my children and this nation and the world.

p.s. Your poetry here is at its finest, Sue.

Tima said...

Beautifully written.

Kelly Lund and Kids said...

Beautiful!!! Thank you to the Men and Women who fight/have fought for our Beautiful Country!!

Lady In Read said...

Totally agree with you, and so well written..

Eva Gallant said...

That was absolutely beautiful!

Helena said...

Amen to that! This poem has left me rather emotional, Sue! Simply perfect!

Darlene said...

I'm overwhelmed

Kutamun said...

gday SUE, It reverberates down the ages for sure. an old bloke who lived next door to me once, the son of a man who had fought on the somme, lived inside with the curtains drawn all day , with his dogs. he seemingly couldnt relate , especially to women. couldnt help but wonder what yragedy had befallen this family, as he was such a nice fella. then it emerged, ww1

Dave King said...

justice dealt in bloody blows
raining down on faceless foes

Two very telling lines, but your last two say it all, I am afraid: they will always heed one more call. There will always be one more.

Sad!

Grandma Honey said...

You said it well Sue, as always. Perfect music again, too.

Scudds Harrison said...

Sweet. Very well done, Sue. Hats off to you.

All my love from Thailand.
Scudds

Annmarie Pipa said...

beautiful words...and meaning.

hyperCRYPTICal said...

Beautiful wise words and we will continue to heed the battle call.

Like you, I think that war is sometimes justified - for if we sit back and refuse to acknowledge great evil perpetrated - we are no better than the perpetrators.

Anna :o]

Em said...

"Imperfection marks us all...some will rise some will fall."

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