WRITINGS AND POETRY ON WAR
December 7, 2011
Last night, Heather Reed, Chris Stieler, Jack Callahan, Braden Walter, Jennie Friedman, Nate Judge, and Cameron Devine, and special guest speaker Learning Specialist and Instructor of History, Mr. Sweet gathered in the Writing Center to share writings and poetry on the theme of War. A big thank you goes out to Mr. Sweet for making yet another Free Thinkers Society meeting a dynamic experience!
Here is some of what was shared:
Braden Walter- “When the Tigers Broke Free” by Pink Floyd
It was just before dawn
One miserable morning in black ‘forty four.
When the forward commander
Was told to sit tight
When he asked that his men be withdrawn.
And the Generals gave thanks
As the other ranks held back
The enemy tanks for a while.
And the Anzio bridgehead
Was held for the price
Of a few hundred ordinary lives.
And kind old King George
Sent Mother a note
When he heard that father was gone.
It was, I recall,
In the form of a scroll,
With gold leaf and all.
And I found it one day
In a drawer of old photographs, hidden away.
And my eyes still grow damp to remember
His Majesty signed
With his own rubber stamp.
It was dark all around.
There was frost in the ground
When the tigers broke free.
And no one survived
From the Royal Fusiliers Company C.
They were all left behind,
Most of them dead,
The rest of them dying.
And that’s how the High Command
Took my daddy from me.
Chris Stieler- “The Cumberland” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
- T anchor in Hampton Roads we lay,
- On board of the Cumberland, sloop-of-war;
- And at times from the fortress across the bay
- The alarum of drums swept past,
- Or a bugle blast
- From the camp on the shore.
- Then far away to the south uprose
- A little feather of snow-white smoke,
- And we knew that the iron ship of our foes
- Was steadily steering its course
- To try the force
- Of our ribs of oak.
- Down upon us heavily runs,
- Silent and sullen, the floating fort;
- Then comes a puff of smoke from her guns,
- And leaps the terrible death,
- With fiery breath,
- From each open port.
- We are not idle, but send her straight
- Defiance back in a full broadside!
- As hail rebounds from a roof of slate,
- Rebounds our heavier hail
- From each iron scale
- Of the monster’s hide.
- “Strike your flag!” the rebel cries,
- In his arrogant old plantation strain.
- “Never!” our gallant Morris replies;
- “It is better to sink than to yield!”
- And the whole air pealed
- With the cheers of our men.
- Then, like a kraken huge and black,
- She crushed our ribs in her iron grasp!
- Down went the Cumberland all a wrack,
- With a sudden shudder of death,
- And the cannon’s breath
- For her dying gasp.
- Next morn, as the sun rose over the bay,
- Still floated our flag at the mainmast head.
- Lord, how beautiful was Thy day!
- Every waft of the air
- Was a whisper of prayer,
- Or a dirge for the dead.
- Ho! brave hearts that went down in the seas!
- Ye are at peace in the troubled stream;
- Ho! brave land! with hearts like these,
- Thy flag, that is rent in twain,
- Shall be one again,
- And without a seam!