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Thread: Say This City Has Ten Million Souls

  1. #1
    Metamorphosing Pensive's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005

    Say This City Has Ten Million Souls

    Say this city has ten million souls,
    Some are living in mansions, some are living in holes:
    Yet there's no place for us, my dear, yet there's no place for us.

    Once we had a country and we thought it fair,
    Look in the atlas and you'll find it there:
    We cannot go there now, my dear, we cannot go there now.

    In the village churchyard there grows an old yew,
    Every spring it blossoms anew:
    Old passports can't do that, my dear, old passports can't do that.

    The consul banged the table and said,
    "If you've got no passport you're officially dead":
    But we are still alive, my dear, but we are still alive.

    Went to a committee; they offered me a chair;
    Asked me politely to return next year:
    But where shall we go to-day, my dear, but where shall we go to-day?

    Came to a public meeting; the speaker got up and said;
    "If we let them in, they will steal our daily bread":
    He was talking of you and me, my dear, he was talking of you and me.

    Thought I heard the thunder rumbling in the sky;
    It was Hitler over Europe, saying, "They must die":
    O we were in his mind, my dear, O we were in his mind.

    Saw a poodle in a jacket fastened with a pin,
    Saw a door opened and a cat let in:
    But they weren't German Jews, my dear, but they weren't German Jews.

    Went down the harbour and stood upon the quay,
    Saw the fish swimming as if they were free:
    Only ten feet away, my dear, only ten feet away.

    Walked through a wood, saw the birds in the trees;
    They had no politicians and sang at their ease:
    They weren't the human race, my dear, they weren't the human race.

    Dreamed I saw a building with a thousand floors,
    A thousand windows and a thousand doors:
    Not one of them was ours, my dear, not one of them was ours.

    Stood on a great plain in the falling snow;
    Ten thousand soldiers marched to and fro:
    Looking for you and me, my dear, looking for you and me.

    I found this poem really touching and I liked it a lot. I will like to hear what you think about it and can anyone suggest me good poetry related to war? It will be better if it is written in easy English.
    I sang of leaves, of leaves of gold, and leaves of gold there grew.

  2. #2
    Piglet RJbibliophil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    The City
    Very meaningful poem Pensy. Very pensive and ironic. The author seems to be lamenting the refugees, it would seem he is one. He seems to be admiring the fish and birds, and their freedom and the peace that they have. Thank you for sharing. I know of no good war poetry, but if I find any, I will share.
    When ideas fail, words come in very handy.

    Count to 10,000 and down to -10,000!

  3. #3
    Registered User vrianto3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Jakarta, Indonesia
    Not sure whether below really is a war poem. Mostly about fighting. But most fightings are not really related to war. So, maybe it's not about war. Anyway, try read it with as many '!!!' as possible.

    By Chairil Anwar

    When my time comes
    No one's going to cry for me,
    And you won't, either

    The hell with all the tears!

    I'm a wild beast
    Driven out of the herd

    Bullets may pierce my skin
    But I'll keep coming,

    Carrying forward my wounds and my pain
    Until suffering disappears

    And I won't give a damn

    I want to live another thousand years

    (translated by Burton Raffel)
    "If you can wait and not be tired by waiting"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    srinager , kashmir

    .. new start ..

    hello ...everyone... till now i had been hiding all my emotions n words in my diaries ,,, but gotto move with time and be an extrovert sometimes .... i know i will find all sensitive people like me out here so yy not give it a try .to let me know myself to the world out there .....

  5. #5
    Dreaming away Sapphire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    below the sea surface
    Wow... that is a wonderful poem Have you any idea on who has written it?

    As for good poetry related to war... I have got a book somewhere on my shelves which is called "an illustrated anthology of War Poems". All the poems in it are somehow related to war, but I guess it is really up to taste which ones are "good". For instance, I don't think there is anything in there about refugees or the feeling of insecurity civilians get during a war. It's mostly about fighting, patriotism, death and longing of soldiers to come home.

    I myself have always been intrigued by the poems which were written about the first world war: first the poems were full of patriotism and willingness to fight. Soon they changed - or at least the ones written by the soldiers (for example Wilfred Owen), portraying the horror of war.

    I'll do some digging to find a nice example of what I think to be an impressive poem about war.

    Ow, and as for the poem above: why is it so often that people think they can become immortal by fighting and dying?! I can't grasp it, but it is a thought you frequently find in war poems...

    Edit This one is from the 18th century, written by John Scott of Amwell

    The Drum

    I hate that drum’s discordant sound,
    Parading round, and round, and round:
    To thoughtless youth it pleasure yields,
    And lures from cities and from fields,
    To sell their liberty for charms
    Of tawdry lace, and glittering arms;
    And when Ambition’s voice commands,
    To march, and fight, and fall, in foreign lands.

    I hate that drum’s discordant sound,
    Parading round, and round, and round:
    To me it talks of ravag’d plains,
    And burning towns, and ruin’d swains,
    And mangled limbs, and dying groans,
    And widow’s tears, and orphans moans;
    And all that misery’s hand bestows,
    To fill the catalogue of human woes.

    We might not go to war by the sound of drums anymore, but to me it certainly gets the message across!
    Last edited by Sapphire; 07-01-2010 at 10:56 AM.
    It is not too late, to be wild for roundabouts - to be wild for life
    Wolfsheim - It is not too late

  6. #6

    A Walk To Remember

    I remember our first walk,
    By the red spotted park!
    Through the day we did talk,
    But not a word did we speak.

    When I gazed at ur face,
    It opend up a giant maze!
    When I solved, the phrase;
    “Theres none like u in this race”

    While we crossed the gate,
    Was it the play of fate?
    That it succeeded to create,
    An everlasting taste!

    Beautiful were those blue eyes!
    Which now lay frozen like ice.
    Why couldn’t I use a vise?
    To prevent your body from lyse!

    Your eyes whispered to mine:
    “I was standing near a mine!”
    That I was at “The line”
    Which was marked nine!

    When you did push me away,
    You knew it wasn’t a safeway!
    Have you reached “The Gateway?”
    Wait,I will be there someway!

    It was waiting like an adder!
    Acting like its master’s ladder.
    A mistake made by “The Author?”
    Gave painful moments of horror!

    Why did you pay the price,
    To those that are vice?
    Who play with “The Dice,”
    Does nothing but slice?

    Did you hear the blast?
    The terror from the past!
    A walk so deeply cast,
    Never knew, would be our last!

  7. #7
    Metamorphosing Pensive's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Thanks for sharing, friends!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sapphire View Post
    [color="blue"]Wow... that is a wonderful poem Have you any idea on who has written it?/
    I think it's W.H. Auden
    I sang of leaves, of leaves of gold, and leaves of gold there grew.

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    There were 750,000 in Warsaw berfore the properties were conrfiscated. Where did they go?
    Then there were 750,000 in the Ghetto, well organized, producing goods in exchange for life.
    But it was not enough, never enough. Never enough goods to pay for life.
    At the end, it was an accident. There was the last furniture, perfectly restored before having been taken outside for the last business-trucks pickups. There were 750 in the basements, ready to march in the last trains.
    Suddenly, there was an accident. Someone heard Russian spoken in the streets. Some dared go upstairs. The war was over? It was an accident as to the day.
    The war was over? The war was over? As to the day? ...
    Last edited by cafolini; 01-12-2012 at 12:47 PM.

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