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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/entry_id/676284-Veterans-Day-2009
Rated: 13+ · Book · Contest Entry · #1618590
entries for the contest Defining Poetry
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#676284 added November 15, 2009 at 3:22pm
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Veteran's Day 2009
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This poem is written in response to William Butler Yeat's "Easter 1916". http://www.online-literature.com/yeats/779/
I was moved by his use of everyday details to describe the effects of government and political decisions that affect personal lives. The repeating line in this poem "a terrible beauty is born" resonated strongly for me. We take the occurrences and experiences of our lives, often we are innocent victims of these events, and yet, hopefully can transmute and transform them into a "terrible beauty". My own writing is more often lighter and more whimsical, but after reading "Easter 1916"--I wanted to explore a darker terrain. I was also inspired to want to use repeating phrases as Yeats did to capture that power of repetition. Also, as Yeats was writing about a specific period in time, I decided to use that in this poem as well. The term "interbellum" refers to a period between wars, usually the time period of 1910-1913---I also felt this resonated and shadowed the time period that Yeats was referring in his work.

Veteran's Day 2009

There is no interbellum.
We are never between wars.
A wounded warrior slays comrades
in the name of Allah.
Our quiet, well-mannered neighbor
slices the throats
of wife and kids.
The government executes John Mohammad.
The story goes on,
the blood of the lamb
is spilled again.

Bees and mist
hover above the graves at Arlington.
A black granite wall bears 58,000 names.
At night, a hand proffers a flashlight
to find the name you seek
while Washington's white obelisk
continues to shine.
The story goes on,
the blood of the lamb
is spilled again.

There is no interbellum.
We are never between wars.
Cain and Abel.
Iraq, Afghanistan, Darfur.
The story goes on,
the blood of the lamb
is spilled again.








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