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The Soldiers at Lauro -- Spike Milligan

Guest poem submitted by Siddhartha Joshi:
(Poem #831) The Soldiers at Lauro
 Young are our dead
 Like babies they lie
 The wombs they blest once
 Not healed dry
 And yet - too soon
 Into each space
 A cold earth falls
 On colder face.
 Quite still they lie
 These fresh-cut reeds
 Clutched in earth
 Like winter seeds
 But they will not bloom
 When called by spring
 To burst with leaf
 And blossoming
 They sleep on
 In silent dust
 As crosses rot
 And helmets rust.
-- Spike Milligan
Spike has a magical way with words. The ability to make a poem seem absurdly
simple to compose when it is anything but - unless you are blessed with the
skill - is very rare indeed. In "...Lauro" he captures the choked poignancy
of the moment of burying the dead deftly and with great economy of words. He
manages, at the same time to convey his silent, sad, hopeless anger at the
utter stupidity of war and it abbreviation of a life already too brief.

Siddhartha.

[Minstrels Links]

A very different sort of poem by Milligan is the light-hearted "Teeth",
Poem #701 on the Minstrels. There's a biography accompanying it.

29 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

DrOsh123 said...

Hi,
I enjoyed your poem! How can people put all these poems on the web
without worrying about copyright laws? As I near the last page of
_Siddhartha_ today, I thought I must email someone who may have
an interest in the book. It is the type of book that you cannot not
read again; it is wonderful! I teach English (writing mostly) and
Linguistics
for UH (Hawaii in Hilo, Big Island). Can anyone submit poems to this
site? --Michael (Osh) Larish, Ph.D.

WHITESYRENA said...

How sad a poem from this man who, himself, suffered in the war years. It
brings to mind the futile sacrifice of the lives of all young men in battle.

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