Sunday, November 11, 2018

The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month


Because everybody else is quoting "In Flanders fields" I thought I'd put up a lesser-known poem to mark this day and the end of the War to End War:

The magpies in Picardy
Are more than I can tell.
They flicker down the dusty roads
And cast a magic spell
On the men who march through Picardy,
Through Picardy to hell.

(The blackbird flies with panic,
The swallow goes with light,
The finches move like ladies,
The owl floats by at night;
But the great and flashing magpie
He flies as artists might.)

A magpie in Picardy
Told me secret things—
Of the music in white feathers,
And the sunlight that sings
And dances in deep shadows—
He told me with his wings.

(The hawk is cruel and rigid,
He watches from a height;
The rook is slow and sombre,
The robin loves to fight;
But the great and flashing magpie
He flies as lovers might.)

He told me that in Picardy,
An age ago or more,
While all his fathers still were eggs,
These dusty highways bore
Brown, singing soldiers marching out
Through Picardy to war.

He said that still through chaos
Works on the ancient plan,
And two things have altered not
Since first the world began—
The beauty of the wild green earth
And the bravery of man.

(For the sparrow flies unthinking
And quarrels in his flight;
The heron trails his legs behind,
The lark goes out of sight;
But the great and flashing magpie
He flies as poets might.)

-T.P.C. Wilson

4 comments:

  1. Definitely lesser known, at least by me. Lovely imagery of the birds mixed with the reality of war.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The author was killed at the front in 1918. I hope he had a chance to know what this poem meant to his compatriots first.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Not the only talented person to die in that war but leave behind something like this. Such a waste war is.

    ReplyDelete


  4. شركة الامارات كلين

    شركة تنظيف كنب العين شركات تنظيف كنب في العين

    شركة تنظيف منازل الشارقة شركات تنظيف منازل بالشارقة
    شركة تنظيف الفجيرة شركات تنظيف بالفجيرة
    شركة تنظيف منازل ام القوين شركات تنظيف ام القوين
    شركة تنظيف عجمان شركات تنظيف في عجمان
    شركة تنظيف سجاد عجمان شركات غسيل سجاد عجمان


    ReplyDelete

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