Michael Zeleny (larvatus) wrote,
Michael Zeleny

in memoriam

John Singer Sargent, Gassed, 1919, Imperial War Museum, London

            Dulce et Decorum Est

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs,
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame, all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.

Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime . . .
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin,
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,—
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

—Wilfred Owen
(18 March 1893 – 4 November 1918)
The Collected Poems of Wilfred Owen
edited by Edmund Blunden
New Directions, 1965, p. 55

Henri de Groux, Masques à gaz, etching,
Royal Army and Military History Museum, Brussels

                                   LA NUIT D’AVRIL 1915

                                                                      À L. de C.-C.

                    Le ciel est étoilé par les obus des Boches
                    La forêt merveilleuse où je vis donne un bal
                    La mitrailleuse joue un air à triples-croches
                    Mais avez-vous le mot
                                                         Eh ! oui le mot fatal
                    Aux créneaux Aux créneaux Laissez là les pioches

                    Comme un astre éperdu qui cherche ses saisons
                    Cœur obus éclaté tu sifflais ta romance
                    Et tes mille soleils ont vidé les caissons
                    Que les dieux de mes yeux remplissent en silence

                    Nous vous aimons ô vie et nous vous agaçons

                    Les obus miaulaient un amour à mourir
                    Un amour qui se meurt est plus doux que les autres
                    Ton souffle nage au fleuve où le sang va tarir
                    Les obus miaulaient
                                                     Entends chanter les nôtres
                    Pourpre amour salué par ceux qui vont périr

                    Le printemps tout mouillé la veilleuse l’attaque
                    Il pleut mon âme il pleut mais il pleut des yeux morts

                    Ulysse que de jours pour rentrer dans Ithaque
                    Couche-toi sur la paille et songe un beau remords
                    Qui pur effet de l’art soit aphrodisiaque

                                         aux fétus de la paille où tu dors
                    L’hymne de l’avenir est paradisiaque

—Guillaume Apollinaire
(26 août 1880 – 9 novembre 1918)
Œuvres poétiques
édition établie et annotée par Marcel Adéma
Gallimard, 1965, pp. 243-244

Guillaume Apollinaire, 1916

кавалерист Моисей Исаакович Зелёный (1889-1934)
пехотинец Иосиф Моисеевич Зелёный (1920-2000)
артиллерист Исаак Моисеевич Зелёный (1923-2004)
Tags: apollinaire, death, french, memory, violence, war

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