Guest poem submitted by Bill Whiteford:
(Poem #1789) The General
"Good-morning, good-morning!" the General said When we met him last week on our way to the line. Now the men that he smiled at are most of 'em dead, And we're cursing his staff for incompetent swine. "He's a cheery old card," grunted Harry to Jack As they slogged up to Arras with rifle and pack. But he did for them both by his plan of attack.
I'm suggesting this on November 11, Armistice Day here in Britain (and presumably in many other countries). We're often taught the first world war poets at school, and I remember being struck by the power of this short poem then. I've never been very good at memorising long screeds of verse, but I could usually remember the last three lines of this. Interestingly, I thought there were two stanzas, of four and three lines. But I see most sources render it as above. Again , there's a lot you could do in the way of analysis (the very strict rhythm of lines 1-6, the stutter-step in 7), but I will leave that to others. Bill Whiteford.