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118th Virtual Poetry Circle

Today’s poem is from First World War Poetry edited by Jon Silkin (page 146)

That Exploit of Yours
by:  Ford Madox Ford

I meet two soldiers sometimes here in Hell
The one, with a tear in the seat of his red pantaloons
Was stuck by a pitchfork,
Climbing a wall to steal apples.

The second has a seeming silver helmet,
Having died from the fall of his horse on some tram-lines
In Dortmund.

These two
Meeting in the vaulted and vaporous caverns of Hell
Exclaim always in identical tones:
'I at least have done my duty to Society and the
   Fatherland!'
It is strange how the cliche prevails...
For I will bet my hat that you who sent me here to Hell
Are saying the selfsame words at this very moment
Concerning that exploit of yours.

Welcome to the 118th Virtual Poetry Circle!

Remember, this is just for fun and is not meant to be stressful.

Keep in mind what Molly Peacock’s books suggested. Look at a line, a stanza, sentences, and images; describe what you like or don’t like; and offer an opinion. If you missed my review of her book, check it out here.

Also, sign up for the 2011 Fearless Poetry Reading Challenge because its simple; you only need to read 1 book of poetry. Please contribute to the growing list of 2011 Indie Lit Award Poetry Suggestions, visit the stops on the National Poetry Month Blog Tour from April.

So what did you think?

  • This poem just emphasizes the comparisons of war to hell. The poet could be talking about the war as hell or the place called hell. Interesting. Plus it raises the discussion about whether dying in war is actually a service to one’s country or a senseless death.