Monday, May 28, 2012

Feeling the Melancholy of War

Ohio troops after four years of the Civil War.
Poets and artists and musicians translate human experiences. The new art of photography caught a moment in time, much like the painters of the Impressionist movement wanted to.

The American Civil War still fascinates, probably because it never ended. It is still a human struggle where everyone sacrifices.

This is bluegrass style waltz-timed music, written in the 1980s, Pashokan Farewell.  Ken Burns used it in his documentary, "The Civil War.' 
'Sullivan Ballou Letter, from Ken Burns' Civil War.'

War is just so sad. People, usually young, demolished and left in pieces; families heartbroken permanently. Homes razed. Nothing is settled because human nature doesn't change.

In the US, folks reenact the battles of the Civil War every year. The following link is profoundly insightful--almost ghostly as the reenactors pose in 2012 America.

A Civil War In The Olive Garden Parking Lot

The Colonists were mostly interested in finance, right?

I've decided not to include gruesome photos of the dead, or the trenches, or videos of American teenagers losing a leg to an improvised roadside device. 

But here is a well-known poem from WWI.

The larks, still bravely singing, fly, 
Scarce heard amid the guns below. 

In Flanders Fields  
by John McCrae

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row, 
That mark our place, and in the sky, 
The larks, still bravely singing, fly, 
Scarce heard amid the guns below. 
We are the dead; short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, 
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields. 
Take up our quarrel with the foe! 
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high! 
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
McCrae was a doctor in the trenches; he died, too. Many Canadian soldiers volunteered for WWI after reading this. The poem was found in their pockets after they died.

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