Vernon Scannell


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The Great War


Whenever war is spoken of
I find
The war that was called Great invades the mind:
The grey militia marches over land
A darker mood of grey
Where fractured tree-trunks stand
And shells, exploding, open sudden fans
Of smoke and earth.
Blind murders scythe
The deathscape where the iron brambles writhe;
The sky at night
Is honoured with rosettes of fire,
Flares that define the corpses on the wire
As terror ticks on wrists at zero hour.
These things I see,
But they are only part
Of what it is that slyly probes the heart:
Less vivid images and words excite
The sensuous memory
And, even as I write,
Fear and a kind of love collaborate
To call each simple conscript up
For quick inspection:
Trenches' parapets
Paunchy with sandbags; bandoliers, tin-hats.
Candles in dugouts,
Duckboards, mud and rats.
Then, like patrols, tunes creep into the mind:
A long, long trail, The Rose of No-Man's Land,
Home Fire and Tipperary:
And through the misty keening of a band
Of Scottish pipes the proper names are heard
Like fateful commentary of distant guns:
Passchendaele, Bapaume, and Loos, and Mons.
And now,
Whenever the November sky
Quivers with a bugle's hoarse, sweet cry,
The reason darkens; in its evening gleam
Crosses and flares, tormented wire, grey earth
Splattered with crimson flowers,
And I remember,
Not the war I fought in
But the one called Great
Which ended in a sepia November
Four years before my birth.Whenever war is spoken of
I find
The war that was called Great invades the mind:
The grey militia marches over land
A darker mood of grey
Where fractured tree-trunks stand
And shells, exploding, open sudden fans
Of smoke and earth.
Blind murders scythe
The deathscape where the iron brambles writhe;
The sky at night
Is honoured with rosettes of fire,
Flares that define the corpses on the wire
As terror ticks on wrists at zero hour.
These things I see,
But they are only part
Of what it is that slyly probes the heart:
Less vivid images and words excite
The sensuous memory
And, even as I write,
Fear and a kind of love collaborate
To call each simple conscript up
For quick inspection:
Trenches' parapets
Paunchy with sandbags; bandoliers, tin-hats.
Candles in dugouts,
Duckboards, mud and rats.
Then, like patrols, tunes creep into the mind:
A long, long trail, The Rose of No-Man's Land,
Home Fire and Tipperary:
And through the misty keening of a band
Of Scottish pipes the proper names are heard
Like fateful commentary of distant guns:
Passchendaele, Bapaume, and Loos, and Mons.
And now,
Whenever the November sky
Quivers with a bugle's hoarse, sweet cry,
The reason darkens; in its evening gleam
Crosses and flares, tormented wire, grey earth
Splattered with crimson flowers,
And I remember,
Not the war I fought in
But the one called Great
Which ended in a sepia November
Four years before my birth.
......................
......................
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Hits & posts of the poem: The Great War

Click the captions to change the order.

# Date Hits Posts
1 02/25/2020 Tuesday 5
41%
0
0%
2 02/24/2020 Monday 7
58%
0
0%
3 02/20/2020 Thursday 3
25%
0
0%
4 02/18/2020 Tuesday 3
25%
0
0%
5 02/17/2020 Monday 5
41%
0
0%
6 02/16/2020 Sunday 2
16%
0
0%
7 02/15/2020 Saturday 4
33%
0
0%
8 02/14/2020 Friday 7
58%
0
0%
9 02/13/2020 Thursday 5
41%
0
0%
10 02/12/2020 Wednesday 6
50%
0
0%
11 02/11/2020 Tuesday 7
58%
0
0%
12 02/10/2020 Monday 11
91%
0
0%
13 02/09/2020 Sunday 5
41%
0
0%
14 02/08/2020 Saturday 1
8%
0
0%
15 02/07/2020 Friday 5
41%
0
0%
16 02/05/2020 Wednesday 4
33%
0
0%
17 02/04/2020 Tuesday 9
75%
0
0%
18 02/03/2020 Monday 1
8%
0
0%
19 02/02/2020 Sunday 6
50%
0
0%
20 02/01/2020 Saturday 3
25%
0
0%
21 01/31/2020 Friday 2
16%
0
0%
22 01/30/2020 Thursday 9
75%
0
0%
23 01/29/2020 Wednesday 12
100%
0
0%
24 01/27/2020 Monday 3
25%
0
0%
25 01/26/2020 Sunday 3
25%
0
0%
26 01/25/2020 Saturday 5
41%
0
0%
27 01/24/2020 Friday 5
41%
0
0%
28 01/23/2020 Thursday 1
8%
0
0%
29 01/22/2020 Wednesday 4
33%
0
0%
30 01/21/2020 Tuesday 3
25%
0
0%
31 01/20/2020 Monday 5
41%
0
0%
32 01/19/2020 Sunday 3
25%
0
0%
33 01/17/2020 Friday 3
25%
0
0%
34 01/16/2020 Thursday 1
8%
0
0%
35 01/15/2020 Wednesday 5
41%
0
0%
36 01/14/2020 Tuesday 2
16%
0
0%
37 01/12/2020 Sunday 4
33%
0
0%
38 01/11/2020 Saturday 1
8%
0
0%
39 01/10/2020 Friday 1
8%
0
0%
40 01/09/2020 Thursday 2
16%
0
0%
41 01/08/2020 Wednesday 5
41%
0
0%
42 01/07/2020 Tuesday 1
8%
0
0%
43 01/06/2020 Monday 3
25%
0
0%
44 01/05/2020 Sunday 3
25%
0
0%
45 01/04/2020 Saturday 1
8%
0
0%
46 01/03/2020 Friday 2
16%
0
0%
47 12/30/2019 Monday 2
16%
0
0%
48 12/28/2019 Saturday 1
8%
0
0%
49 12/26/2019 Thursday 1
8%
0
0%
50 12/20/2019 Friday 1
8%
0
0%
51 12/19/2019 Thursday 1
8%
0
0%
52 12/18/2019 Wednesday 7
58%
0
0%
53 12/17/2019 Tuesday 2
16%
0
0%
54 12/16/2019 Monday 1
8%
0
0%
55 12/15/2019 Sunday 1
8%
0
0%
56 12/14/2019 Saturday 1
8%
0
0%
57 12/12/2019 Thursday 2
16%
0
0%
58 12/11/2019 Wednesday 4
33%
0
0%
59 12/10/2019 Tuesday 3
25%
0
0%
60 12/09/2019 Monday 3
25%
0
0%
61 12/06/2019 Friday 3
25%
0
0%
62 12/05/2019 Thursday 1
8%
0
0%
63 12/04/2019 Wednesday 4
33%
0
0%
64 12/03/2019 Tuesday 4
33%
0
0%
65 12/02/2019 Monday 1
8%
0
0%
66 11/30/2019 Saturday 2
16%
0
0%
67 11/29/2019 Friday 4
33%
0
0%
68 11/28/2019 Thursday 2
16%
0
0%
69 11/27/2019 Wednesday 2
16%
0
0%
70 11/26/2019 Tuesday 4
33%
0
0%
71 11/25/2019 Monday 1
8%
0
0%
72 11/24/2019 Sunday 2
16%
0
0%
73 11/23/2019 Saturday 3
25%
0
0%
74 11/22/2019 Friday 3
25%
0
0%
75 11/21/2019 Thursday 4
33%
0
0%
76 11/20/2019 Wednesday 1
8%
0
0%
77 11/19/2019 Tuesday 4
33%
0
0%
78 11/18/2019 Monday 3
25%
0
0%
79 11/17/2019 Sunday 1
8%
0
0%
80 11/16/2019 Saturday 1
8%
0
0%
81 11/14/2019 Thursday 4
33%
0
0%
82 11/13/2019 Wednesday 5
41%
0
0%
83 11/12/2019 Tuesday 8
66%
0
0%
84 11/11/2019 Monday 1
8%
0
0%
85 11/10/2019 Sunday 5
41%
0
0%
86 11/09/2019 Saturday 1
8%
0
0%
87 11/08/2019 Friday 2
16%
0
0%
88 11/07/2019 Thursday 7
58%
0
0%
89 11/06/2019 Wednesday 4
33%
0
0%
90 11/05/2019 Tuesday 4
33%
0
0%
91 11/04/2019 Monday 6
50%
0
0%
92 11/03/2019 Sunday 1
8%
0
0%
93 11/02/2019 Saturday 3
25%
0
0%
94 11/01/2019 Friday 1
8%
0
0%
95 10/31/2019 Thursday 2
16%
0
0%
96 10/30/2019 Wednesday 2
16%
0
0%
97 10/29/2019 Tuesday 1
8%
0
0%
98 10/28/2019 Monday 1
8%
0
0%
99 10/27/2019 Sunday 2
16%
0
0%
100 10/26/2019 Saturday 2
16%
0
0%
101 10/25/2019 Friday 2
16%
0
0%
102 10/24/2019 Thursday 1
8%
0
0%
103 10/23/2019 Wednesday 1
8%
0
0%
104 10/22/2019 Tuesday 1
8%
0
0%
105 10/21/2019 Monday 2
16%
0
0%
106 10/19/2019 Saturday 2
16%
0
0%
107 10/18/2019 Friday 2
16%
0
0%
108 10/17/2019 Thursday 1
8%
0
0%
109 10/16/2019 Wednesday 3
25%
0
0%
110 10/15/2019 Tuesday 3
25%
0
0%
111 10/14/2019 Monday 2
16%
0
0%
112 10/13/2019 Sunday 1
8%
0
0%
113 10/08/2019 Tuesday 6
50%
0
0%
114 10/07/2019 Monday 3
25%
0
0%
115 10/06/2019 Sunday 9
75%
0
0%
116 10/05/2019 Saturday 3
25%
0
0%
117 10/04/2019 Friday 3
25%
0
0%
118 10/03/2019 Thursday 4
33%
0
0%
119 10/02/2019 Wednesday 4
33%
0
0%
120 10/01/2019 Tuesday 3
25%
0
0%
Total 386 0
Average 3.2 0.0
Descriptions:
  • Hits: Number of visitors who read the poem on the given date.
  • Posts: Number of visitors who posted the poem to a friend (via e-mail) on the given date.
Attention:
  • Dates that have "0" hits may not be shown on the list.
  • Dates, poems and poets that have "0" hits may not be shown on the list. Statistics are generated daily.
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