Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Remembrance Week 6

Our 59th Poem of the Week (poems which are posted around the school, and read and discussed in English classes) is 'Vergissmeinnicht' by Keith Douglas. Above, an animation by Jim Clark of the poem. This is the last post in our Remembrance series, concluding today after the Act of Remembrance on Chapel Square this morning.

Three weeks gone and the combatants gone
returning over the nightmare ground
we found the place again, and found
the soldier sprawling in the sun.

The frowning barrel of his gun

overshadowing. As we came on
that day, he hit my tank with one
like the entry of a demon.

Look. Here in the gunpit spoil

the dishonoured picture of his girl

who has put: Steffi. Vergissmeinnicht.
in a copybook gothic script.

We see him almost with content,

abased, and seeming to have paid

and mocked at by his own equipment
that's hard and good when he's decayed.

But she would weep to see today
how on his skin the swart flies move;
the dust upon the paper eye

and the burst stomach like a cave.

For here the lover and killer are mingled

who had one body and one heart.

And death who had the soldier singled

has done the lover mortal hurt.

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