Monday, November 12, 2007

Veteran's Day

In honor of my grandfather MacLeod, I've always tried to recognize Veteran's Day. He served as a tank corps commander in Italy from 1944-46. Last year, I wrote a little about him. This year, I decided to reprint a poem I wrote in college. It was for a creative writing class & this assignment had to be in "Italian sonnet" form. Hopefully, that explains why some of the rhymes are a tad awkward. ;)

"Wild War"
The pine trees stand silent in the Ardennes,

Twice they encountered death and battle here.

The refugees of Dunkirk's loss are near,

The cliffs of Dover face a beach of men.

The coast of Normandy - it mocks my pen,

Its bloody shores have seen courage and fear.

Pearl Harbor, once victim of a surprise war spear,

In the morning, silent as the Ardennes.

The Meuse runs through hills and woods of Verdun,

Remembering ten months of hell on earth.

In Flanders, the crosses stand row by row.
The Douai plain lies flat beneath the sun,

At Vimy Ridge, it saw a war's rebirth.

In Flanders still, the scarlet poppies blow.

I called it "Wild War" because I wanted to think about some of the natural landscapes of both world wars. That's why I've referenced rivers, forests, coastlines, etc. The eleventh & fourteenth lines echo the famous (& much better) poem by John McCrae, a Canadian doctor who fought in the first world war. To veterans of all wars - thank you for your sacrifices.

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