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For The Union Dead

Rating: 3.6

<i>Relinquunt Ommia Servare Rem Publicam.</i>

The old South Boston Aquarium stands
in a Sahara of snow now. Its broken windows are boarded.
The bronze weathervane cod has lost half its scales.
The airy tanks are dry.

Once my nose crawled like a snail on the glass;
my hand tingled to burst the bubbles
drifting from the noses of the cowed, compliant fish.

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COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Frank Papaycik 21 July 2010

GLORY Perhaps Keats Ozymandius one or the other was right The Instant The Memory are The Fleet The Monument remains for ever withstanding The Vagaries of The Moment

4 13 Reply
Thabani Khumalo 16 June 2015

I have a vision to write like this, only if god would bless me enough to.lm

1 4 Reply
John Looker 17 May 2020

Such a pity there are typographical mistakes in the printing above. It should read: 'My hand draws back. I often sigh now...' 'The stone statues of the abstract Union Soldier...' '... and younger each year— ' 'There are no statues for the last war here' 'showed Hiroshima boiling' Is there any possibility of correcting the text please?

0 0 Reply
Michael Walker 25 July 2019

A superb, evocative poem of the Civill War from the perspective of the North. 'Colonel Shaw and his bell- cheeked Negro infantry'. How memorable are, 'The stone statues of the abstract Union Soldier'. A great poet.

0 0 Reply
Paresh Chakra 01 December 2018

He is out of bounds now. He rejoices in man's lovely, peculiar power to choose life and die- when he leads his black soldiers to death, he cannot bend his back. This line is very nice

0 0 Reply
Fabrizio Frosini 10 December 2015

my hand tingled to burst the bubbles drifting from the noses of the cowed, compliant fish. the speaker is still remembering the excitement of being at the aquarium. He was so captivated that he wanted to reach in a pop the bubbles coming from the mouths of the fish

11 0 Reply
Fabrizio Frosini 10 December 2015

' Relinquunt Ommia Servare Rem Publicam ' They gave up all to serve the republic. the Latin phrase is engraved in the actual Civil War memorial

11 0 Reply

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