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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2007 9:08 pm 
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iansales wrote:
And here's one I couldn't resist sharing...

Incident at Suez (on seeing a German P.O.W.) - Brendan O'Byrne
I saw a superman today
Who once walked deep in Europe's blood
With arrant pride and slavish heed
Of tenets dimly understood
Who once with whip and knout and hose
Cowed lesser breeds with brutal joy
I saw that superman today
Salute the Captain's cabin-boy.


Love that!


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2007 9:19 pm 
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iansales wrote:
Bivouac - John Jarmain
In my bivouac at evening lying close
Beneath the tent's low roof,
...
Before I sleep.

Not sure about the scorpion -> snake imagery. And the "pale in beauty shines" is perhaps a little too Shelleyesque.

That's all of Jarmain's from Return to Oasis. I'll have to see if I can hunt down some more of his stuff...


Agree with your thought about 'pale in beauty shines' - weakest line in the poem. But he does capture a mood. I thought the 'sky mapped with light' was strong - I saw a film once of the desert at night and was stunned by the stars- millions of them hanging low.

The sandstorm in El Alamein was magnificent - 'that crazy sea of sand' and 'the spinning towers'- I can feel the grit!

Great find, Ian!


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2007 9:58 pm 
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Marion Arnott wrote:
I thought the 'sky mapped with light' was strong - I saw a film once of the desert at night and was stunned by the stars- millions of them hanging low.


Yes, I liked that line too. I once spent a night camping in the Empty Quarter, and I remember the clarity of the night sky, but I don't remember there being a great many more stars visible than I was used to. I also remember it being bloody cold in the middle of the night :-)

I've had a look round, it seems Jarmain had one book of poems published in 1945 (a year after his death). It was later republished in 1998 by the Hawthorn Press. Both editions appear to be hard to find. And, of course, there's the novel mentioned in his bio, Priddy Barrows.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 8:33 am 
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After this discussion, I decided to write something on my blog about Jarmain - see the link below.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 5:56 pm 
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That was good to read, Ian - you may be rsponsible for a revival of interest in this poet! He's well worth it.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 6:40 pm 
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Thanks. But I think I need more than a handful of readers before I can start any revival :-)

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 8:17 pm 
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Not techinically war poetry, as Kipling wasn't fighting, but here is his "My Boy Jack". I thought I'd hunt down the words seeing as the David Haig play of the same name is being shown on ITV tonight. And then I thought I'd share.

According to wikipedia, Jack Kipling's grave wasn't found/identified until 1992

My Son Jack
by Rudyard Kipling

"Have you news of my boy Jack?"
Not this tide.
"When d'you think that he'll come back?"
Not with this wind blowing, and this tide.
"Has any one else had word of him?"
Not this tide.
For what is sunk will hardly swim,
Not with this wind blowing, and this tide.

"Oh, dear, what comfort can I find?"
None this tide,
Nor any tide,
Except he did not shame his kind -
Not even with that wind blowing, and that tide.

Then hold your head up all the more,
This tide,
And every tide;
Because he was the son you bore,
And gave to that wind blowing and that tide.[/url]

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 10:22 pm 
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Mouse - are you sure 'My Boy Jack' is on tonight? I can't find it in the schedules.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 9:21 am 
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Here are some poems I 'enjoyed' reading about the Falklands War:
http://www.warpoetry.co.uk/Falklands.ht ... 20I%20miss

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 4:11 pm 
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Marion Arnott wrote:
Mouse - are you sure 'My Boy Jack' is on tonight? I can't find it in the schedules.


In that case, guess not - I should pay more attention to adverts... Sorry :oops:

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 4:35 pm 
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Just so long as I haven't missed it!


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 4:45 pm 
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des2 wrote:
Here are some poems I 'enjoyed' reading about the Falklands War:
http://www.warpoetry.co.uk/Falklands.ht ... 20I%20miss


I liked 'First Light' and 'Did I Hear A Soul Fall' best.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 5:18 pm 
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Des -
There's an awfully good one in the Iraq section by 'Kaneix': Dawn's Early Light

http://www.warpoetry.co.uk/iraq_war_03. ... 0and%20Awe


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 5:31 pm 
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Is it me or does modern war poetry seem more graphic and less allusive than poetry from the two World Wars?

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 10:34 pm 
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I suppose it depends on who you're reading. I don't think you can get much more graphic and direct than Gurney, Sassoon, Owen or Buchan. The earlier war poets tended to be a bit flowery and idealistic than you;d get nowadays, but those styles and attitiudes went out of fashion very quickly once trench warfare set in.


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