Guest poem sent in by Suresh Ramasubramanian
(Poem #1040) On Being Asked for a War Poem
I think it better that in times like these A poet keep his mouth shut, for in truth We have no gift to set a statesman right; He has had enough of meddling who can please A young girl in the indolence of her youth, Or an old man upon a winter's night.
Yeats wrote this little beauty on being asked to come up with "a war poem" in 1919 - part of his anthology "The Wild Swans at Coole". I _really_ like it. Short, to the point, and wonderfully sarcastic. There is no point at all to war, Yeats seems to say, and still less point in writing long paeans to the glorious heroes of Britain, conquerors of the Hun. Beyond this, the poem speaks for itself, I think. --srs