The second Poetry in Protest post has gone up!
I’ve recently been watching a lot of movies and reading a lot of books that cover preludes to war, and in Above the Dreamless Dead (First Second, 2014), one of my favorite books of several different categories—graphic novel; poetry collection; war; social commentary—I came across this sorrowful poem by Osbert Sitwell, “The Next War.”
It often seems as though those who make decisions at the top forget the very real people whose lives are affected by those decisions, as Sitwell makes so depressingly clear here.
The Next War
by Osbert Sitwell
The long war had ended.
Its miseries had grown faded.
Deaf men became difficult to talk to,
Heroes became bores.
Who had converted blood into gold
Had grown elderly.
But they held a meeting,
‘We think perhaps we ought
To put up tombs
Or erect altars
To those brave lads
Who were so willingly burnt,
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