Tony Jolley

Rookie (17th June 1958 / England)

'The Glorious Dead' - Poem by Tony Jolley

The cenotaph sighs
Under weight of the words:
A marble-white marker
Bridging two worlds.

To the Living, still searching
For meaning in mourning,
It’s the solace and strength
To survive through ‘til morning.
Finding glory in death
Not some future foregone
But a timeless, selfless triumph
Over power of gun.

But for the Lost it was nothing but slaughter:
Meat and blood upon the block,
Murdered to Hell or to Heaven
With the rest of that pitiful flock.

The cenotaph cries,
Tries to make itself transparent
So the Living will learn from the Lost, at last,
The lesson all too apparent,

That our glory lies only in life as it’s lived -
Never in death and the dying.

The cenotaph knows the truth:
Its very own legend is lying.

..... ‘The Glorious Dead’ is the most prominent phrase emblazoned upon the London Cenotaph.....

Comments about 'The Glorious Dead' by Tony Jolley

  • Fay Slimm (12/5/2008 5:37:00 AM)

    The rankling your soul must have experienced on seeing the above mentioned phrase so 'expertly' used really comes through to the reader here Tony, and you express your desperate ire so very well........ thanks for this.....Fay. (Report) Reply

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  • (7/17/2008 2:10:00 PM)

    This is a truly great poem. Brilliant. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Poem Edited: Saturday, November 13, 2010

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