The bitter reality of war

Saturday, July 10, 2010

My friends at Picture Atlantic have a new album out called Dulce et Decorum Est which is Latin for "It is sweet and good". It's the title of a famous poem from World War I by Wilfred Owen which painfully captures the bitter reality of war,

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.

Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime . . .
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et Decorum est Pro patria mori.


The last line translated from the Latin is "it is sweet and right to die for your country"

I see that boy drowning from mustard gas, his desperate eyes of looking into mine. I curse the night that is war, and I pray God's comfort and strength for everyone who has lost a loved one, and for those who are in the middle of that hell. I just have to believe that Jesus is stronger than all the death and pain we can dish out in this broken world.

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