Treasure Island

Archibald MacLeish

(7 May 1892 – 20 April 1982 / Glencoe, Illinois)

The Young Dead Soldiers Do Not Speak


The young dead soldiers do not speak.

Nevertheless, they are heard in the still houses:
who has not heard them?

They have a silence that speaks for them at night
and when the clock counts.

They say: We were young. We have died.
Remember us.

They say: We have done what we could
but until it is finished it is not done.

They say: We have given our lives but until it is finished
no one can know what our lives gave.

They say: Our deaths are not ours: they are yours,
they will mean what you make them.

They say: Whether our lives and our deaths were for
peace and a new hope or for nothing we cannot say,
it is you who must say this.

We leave you our deaths. Give them their meaning.
We were young, they say. We have died; remember us.

Submitted: Wednesday, April 07, 2010
Edited: Monday, May 28, 2012

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

What do you think this poem is about?



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (The Young Dead Soldiers Do Not Speak by Archibald MacLeish )

Enter the verification code :

  • Renadi Santoso (5/6/2010 6:22:00 AM)

    I wonder if anybody can tell me when this poem is dated.

    I came to this poem via another poem, by Chairil Anwar who obviously based it strongely on the Macleish poem. The title is 'Krawang-Bekasi' which refers most probably to a dramatic confrontation with British troops in the aftermath of WW2, when Indonesia declared itself free from the Netherlands and the British were filling in the power vacuum.

    I'm a composer and made music to the Chairil Anwar poem. I'm just about to commit it to CD and I was looking for an english translation of the poem (which is in Indonesian language) . In doing so, I stumbled on the Macleish poem.

    I'm not sure yet what to do now. Does anyone know who holds the copyrights of the Macleish poem?

    I guess another option is to do a rewrite of both versions into a new version and adapt it in the process for musical and more dramatical use.

    yrs,
    Renadi Santoso
    e-mail: renadi@zonnet.nl
    Amsterdam, the Netherlands (Report) Reply

Read all 1 comments »

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. Reasonable truth, Kiran Prasad
  2. Lost Soul In The Hidden Wild, Electric Lady
  3. 雨Rain, qin xing
  4. Kamikaze Heart, Kewayne Wadley
  5. 难道你真是一片云( Don't you is really a cloud? ), qin xing
  6. Assuring Voice, Somanathan Iyer
  7. Synchronization, SALINI NAIR
  8. Best World, Kolade Seun
  9. For you, rest in peace, Cigeng Zhang
  10. Moon Beams, Yohan Confectioner

Poem of the Day

poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Know'st thou not at the fall of the leaf
How the heart feels a languid grief
Laid on it for a covering,
And how sleep seems a goodly thing
...... Read complete »

 

Modern Poem

poet Randall Jarrell

 

Trending Poems

  1. 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
  2. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  3. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  4. If, Rudyard Kipling
  5. A Poison Tree, William Blake
  6. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  7. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  8. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
  9. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
  10. Sonnet XVII, Pablo Neruda

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]