Poetry in Protest

Despite the devastating evolution of war and its ever-increasing ability to destroy more and more lives in less and less time, there are many who still consider war to be a game. Global leaders wager with the lives of others in a deadly gambit.

This attitude is one that is cultivated from a young age, as Robert Graves points out in his poem “The Next War.” Graves, who served and was injured in World War I, had suffered the atrocities of war firsthand. As his poem implies, is it any wonder that so many regard war flippantly, as an obvious consequence of international diplomacy, when virtually from the womb we are encouraged to indoctrinate ourselves in its cult of glory?

The Next War
by Robert Graves

You young friskies who today
Jump and fight in Father’s hay
With bows and arrows and wooden spears,
Playing at Royal Welch Fusiliers,
Happy though these hours…

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