Sunday 20 September 2015

Sunday War Poet ..

The theme for this months poetry


The Soldier

The Soldier Addresses His Body


Edgell Rickword

I shall be mad if you get smashed about,
we’ve had good times together, you and I;
although you groused a bit when luck was out,
say a girl turned us down, or we went dry.

But there’s a world of things we haven’t done,
countries not seen, where people do strange things;
eat fish alive, and mimic in the sun
the solemn gestures of their stone-grey kings.

I’ve heard of forests that are dim at noon
where snakes and creepers wrestle all day long;
where vivid beasts grow pale with the full moon,
gibber and cry, and wail a mad old song;

because at the full moon the Hippogriff
with crinkled ivory snout and agate feet,
with his green eye will glare them cold and stiff
for the coward Wyvern to come down and eat.

Vodka and kvass, and bitter mountain wines
we’ve never drunk; nor snatched the bursting grapes
to pelt slim girls among Sicilian vines,
who’d flicker through the leaves, faint frolic shapes.

Yes, there’s a world of things we’ve never done,
but it’s a sweat to knock them into rhyme,
let’s have a drink, and give the cards a run
and leave dull verse to the dull peaceful time.

Edgell Rickword

1898 - 1982

John Edgell Rickword was born in Colchester, Essex, England, where his father, George Rickword, was the town’s first borough librarian. He saw front-line action in France as a subaltern in the Royal Berkshire Regiment. 

He was wounded twice—losing the sight of one eye—and he won the Military Cross for distinguished service.


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