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13.A Letter From the Trenches to a School Friend
I have not brought my Odyssey
With me here across the sea;
But you'll remember, when I say
How, when they went down Sparta way,
To sandy Sparta, long ere dawn
Horses were harnessed, rations drawn,
Equipment polished sparkling bright,
And breakfasts swallowed (as the white
Of eastern heavens turned to gold) -
The dogs barked, swift farewells were told.
The sun springs up, the horses neigh,
Crackles the whip thrice-then away!
From sun-go-up to sun-go-down
All day across the sandy down
The gallant horses galloped, till
The wind across the downs more chill
Blew, the sun sank and all the road
Was darkened, that it only showed
Right at the end the town's red light
And twilight glimmering into night.
The horses never slackened till
They reached the doorway and stood still.
Then came the knock, the unlading; then
The honey-sweet converse of men,
The splendid bath, the change of dress,
Then - oh the grandeur of their Mess,
The henchmen, the prim stewardess!
And oh the breaking of old ground,
The tales, after the port went round!
(The wondrous wiles of old Odysseus,
Old Agamemnon and his misuse
Of his command, and that young chit
Paris - who didn't care a bit
For Helen - only to annoy her
He did it really, K.T.A.)
But soon they led amidst the din
The honey-sweet - in,
Whose eyes were blind, whose soul had sight,
Who knew the fame of men in fight -
Bard of white hair and trembling foot,
Who sang whatever God might put
Into his heart.
And there he sung,
Those war-worn veterans among,
Tales of great war and strong hearts wrung,
Of clash of arms, of council's brawl,
Of beauty that must early fall,
Of battle hate and battle joy
By the old windy walls of Troy.
They felt that they were unreal then,
Visions and shadow-forms, not men.
But those the Bard did sing and say
(Some were their comrades, some were they)
Took shape and loomed and strengthened more
Greatly than they had guessed of yore.
And now the fight begins again,
The old war-joy, the old war-pain.
Sons of one school across the sea
We have no fear to fight -
And soon, oh soon, I do not doubt it,
With the body or without it,
We shall all come tumbling down
To our old wrinkled red-capped town.
Perhaps the road up llsley way,
The old ridge-track, will be my way.
High up among the sheep and sky,
Look down on Wantage, passing by,
And see the smoke from Swindon town;
And then full left at Liddington,
Where the four winds of heaven meet
The earth-blest traveller to greet.
And then my face is toward the south,
There is a singing on my mouth
Away to rightward I descry
My Barbury ensconced in sky,
Far underneath the Ogbourne twins,
And at my feet the thyme and whins,
The grasses with their little crowns
Of gold, the lovely Aldbourne downs,
And that old signpost (well I knew
That crazy signpost, arms askew,
Old mother of the four grass ways).
And then my mouth is dumb with praise,
For, past the wood and chalkpit tiny,
A glimpse of Marlborough -!
So I descend beneath the rail
To warmth and welcome and wassail.
This from the battered trenches - rough,
Jingling and tedious enough.
And so I sign myself to you:
One, who some crooked pathways knew
Round Bedwyn: who could scarcely leave
The Downs on a December eve:
Was at his happiest in shorts,
And got - not many good reports!
Small skill of rhyming in his hand -
But you'll forgive - you'll understand. read more »
Our game was his but yesteryear;
We wished him back; we could not know
The self-same hour we missed him here
He led the line that broke the foe. read more »
15.The New School
The halls that were loud with the merry tread of young and careless feet
Are still with a stillness that is too drear to seem like holiday,
And never a gust of laughter breaks the calm of the dreaming street
Or rises to shake the ivied walls and frighten the doves away. read more »
16.Going Back to School
The boat ploughed on. Now Alcatraz was past
And all the grey waves flamed to red again
At the dead sun's last glimmer. Far and vast
The Sausalito lights burned suddenly read more »
17.The Old Bark School
It was built of bark and poles, and the floor was full of holes
Where each leak in rainy weather made a pool;
And the walls were mostly cracks lined with calico and sacks –
There was little need for windows in the school. read more »
18.Schoolroom On A Wet Afternoon
The unrelated paragraphs of morning
Are forgotten now; the severed heads of kings
Rot by the misty Thames; the roses of York
And Lancaster are pressed between the leaves read more »
19.The School Of Metaphysics
Executioner happy to explain
How his wristwatch works
As he shadows me on the street.
I call him that because he is grim and officious read more »
And now another autumn morning finds me
With chalk dust on my sleeve and in my breath,
Preoccupied with vague, habitual speculation
On the huge inevitability of death. read more »
Full fifty merry maids I heard
One summer morn a-singing;
And each was like a joyous bird
With spring-clear not a-ringing. read more »
22.The Correspondence School Instructor Says Goodbye To His Poetry Students
Goodbye, lady in Bangor, who sent me
snapshots of yourself, after definitely hinting
you were beautiful; goodbye,
Miami Beach urologist, who enclosed plain read more »
A was an ant
Who seldom stood still,
And who made a nice house
In the side of a hill. read more »
Mary had a little lamb,
Its fleece was white as snow;
And everywhere that Mary went,
The lamb was sure to go. read more »
New School Poems
- Schools, MOHAMMAD SKATI
- Uniforms in schools., Gangadharan nair Pulingat..
- School, Kumarmani Mahakul
- World A Great School., Gangadharan nair Pulingat..
- An school reconstructed., Gangadharan nair Pulingat..
- A School by Okoemu Barnabas, Okoemu Barnabas
- Schools place of transformation., Gangadharan nair Pulingat..
- BACK TO SCHOOL, MOHAMMAD SKATI
- AT SCHOOL, MOHAMMAD SKATI
- Boring School, Prem Methuku
- Prisoners of Hope, Emone Emmanuel
- Moving Up, Ami White
- Back To School, But There Is A Coming War, MOHAMMAD SKATI
- Alankar (Decor) -170, Indira Renganathan
- School! ! !, Harshit Sheth
- School is fun, Supriya Prathapan
- School, M.Laurel Vijitha ...
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- The Bromfords School, cameron weedon
- School's out, killed killa
- ansar ud deen, umoh cyril
- Welcome back To School!, Anthony Shurland Phillander
- School Days, Michael Peterson
- The Lesson Left Untaught, Prince Tiwari
- School- My Palace, shivani pillai
- Surroundings-35, Indira Renganathan
- Poem of the Totem, Fox Tail
- School, ZaKyr Davis
- School V/s College, Ankit Gupta(ANSH)
- A Pulitzer Prize, Udiah (witness to Yah)
- School, Nikki Auu
- Back To School., Darlington Chukwunyere
- The School Days are near!, HudaM DeGratePoet
- fish swim, Shaun Shane
- Haiku - the old school bell, john tiong chunghoo
- Grade, Custous Angelus
- The lesson left untaught, Dashon Coleman
- school is not the life for me, michelle louise commons
- I Had To Skip School, Abegale Costilla
- School, Hayley K...
- .........Old-School, NikMorgan ...
- why me?, shannon taylor
- School Is Cool, Amber Rainer
- School, Parth Parekh
- School, Alison Mills
- School, One Self
- school school school, somebody u will never know
- Higher Education..., (brief renderings) Joe Fazio
- The School Of Life, (brief renderings) Joe Fazio
- School is Like, Darren Arrogante
- My Sweet School, Sherbanu Molu
- The School Of Life..., (brief renderings) Joe Fazio
- On my way to school (ballad attempt), Venus Fire
- school, anees akbar
- Weirdo school, emma justin
- school, samantha macmillan
- The Perfect school, gautam sharma
- Back to School, Christina Phan
- school!, little angel
- Dancing On Tables, Margaret Alice
- going to school, Timothy Honeycutt
- School Is Out, Christina Phan
- Last day of my school, Muhammad Raza Master
- I Can't Go to School, jasmine shipp
- in school, Sally Minns
- saying good bye, lynsey kendrick
- what is school like?, Jacob Gifford
- School, david mitchell
- school, trevor adams
- School, Brian Aji
- School, mary simonson
- The Yellow School Bus, RaShawn Ince
- School, Sabrina Oney
- school, Harriett Bishop
- carpe diem