The poem Killed Paive – July 8,1918 is about Hemingway’s terrible war experience: he was wounded by a mortar shell that day. He was actually the first American wounded on the Italian front, a few weeks before his 19th birthday.
Killed Paive – July 8,1918
All the sweet pulsing aches
And gentle hurtings
That were you,
Are gone into the sullen dark.
Now in the night you come unsmiling
To lie with me
A dull, cold, rigid bayonet
On my hot-swollen, throbbing soul.
“I go to the front tomorrow, ” the 18-year-old Hemingway wrote home on a postcard from Milan, dated June 9,1918. Wounded seriously in a mortar explosion one month later, he was treated at the American Red Cross Hospital in Milan. (“P.S. Don’t worry, Pop, ” ends one hospital-bed letter home) .
These are among the experiences that helped shape his World War I novel, 'A Farewell to Arms'.
Some came in chains Unrepentant but tired. Too tired but to stumble. Thinking and hating were finished Thinking and fighting were finished Retreating and hoping were finished. Cures thus a long campaign, Making death easy.