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Siege Warfare

PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2007 10:41 pm
by Saturn
Siege warfare

Toil swallows your days:
Its unquenchable thirst
Gobbles all your hours.
Like a city besieged
You try and hold off
The enemies of rest.

When almost breached,
Thither I ride, mounted,
Like some knight errant,
Come to rescue you now
A short reprieve for you,
Before inevitable recapture.

Fully armed yet I stand,
Eternal vigil I will keep
Ever ready to ride again
Against thy present foes,
Couched is my lance
For my own crusade.

PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2007 11:23 am
by AsphodelElysium
This feels like an interesting blend between Keats and Edward Thomas. I like it, it works. :D

PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2007 9:46 am
by Saturn
Edward Thomas?

Hmm I don't know much of his work.

I was definitely influenced by Keats though in this one, blatantly. :lol:

PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2007 5:29 am
by AsphodelElysium
Edward Thomas was a World War I poet, also a history buff, I might add. Friends with Robert Frost, who encouraged Thomas to write poetry. Before, Thomas was a prolific prose writer. He died in the war around the age of 40, which was a bit older than most of the other war poets, who died around 19, 20 years old.

I took a class in WWI poets or probably wouldn't know about them either.

Thomas was also inspired by Keats.


Rain, midnight rain, nothing but the wild rain
On this bleak hut, and solitude, and me
Remembering again that I shall die
And neither hear the rain nor give it thanks
For washing me cleaner than I have been
Since I was born into this solitude.
Blessed are the dead that the rain rains upon:
But here I pray that none whom once I loved
Is dying tonight or lying still awake
Solitary, listening to the rain,
Either in pain or thus in sympathy
Helpless among the living and the dead,
Like a cold water among broken reeds,
Myriads of broken reeds all still and stiff,
Like me who have no love which this wild rain
Has not dissolved except the love of death,
If love it be towards what is perfect and
Cannot, the tempest tells me, disappoint.

Edward Thomas

The Owl

Downhill I came, hungry, and yet not starved;
Cold, yet had heat within me that was proof
Against the North wind; tired, yet so that rest
Had seemed the sweetest thing under a roof.

Then at the inn I had food, fire, and rest,
Knowing how hungry, cold, and tired was I.
All of the night was quite barred out except
An owl's cry, a most melancholy cry

Shaken out long and clear upon the hill,
No merry note, nor cause of merriment,
But one telling me plain what I escaped
And others could not, that night, as in I went.

And salted was my food, and my repose,
Salted and sobered, too, by the bird's voice
Speaking for all who lay under the stars,
Soldiers and poor, unable to rejoice.

Edward Thomas

PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2007 9:46 am
by Saturn
Ooh nice stuff! I shall investigate further thanks.

PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2007 11:15 am
by AsphodelElysium
You're quite welcome. I think you'll find most of the War poets rewarding. There is that aching immediacy and tragically youthful quality to it. Very Keatsian, also, in their untimely demise. Happy hunting!

PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2007 1:28 pm
by Saturn
I've read a lot of the war poets, all of Wilfred Owen [who was a major Keatsian] a lot of Sassoon too but Thomas, though I'm aware of him I've never really read much of.