The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review
littlereview

Poem for Tuesday


Lessons of the War: Naming of Parts
By Henry Reed


To Alan Michell

     Vixi duellis nuper idoneus
     Et militavi non sine gloria


To-day we have naming of parts. Yesterday,
We had daily cleaning. And to-morrow morning,
We shall have what to do after firing. But to-day,
To-day we have naming of parts. Japonica
Glistens like coral in all of the neighboring gardens,
          And to-day we have naming of parts.

This is the lower sling swivel. And this
Is the upper sling swivel, whose use you will see,
When you are given your slings. And this is the piling swivel,
Which in your case you have not got. The branches
Hold in the gardens their silent, eloquent gestures,
          Which in our case we have not got.

This is the safety-catch, which is always released
With an easy flick of the thumb. And please do not let me
See anyone using his finger. You can do it quite easy
If you have any strength in your thumb. The blossoms
Are fragile and motionless, never letting anyone see
          Any of them using their finger.

And this you can see is the bolt. The purpose of this
Is to open the breech, as you see. We can slide it
Rapidly backwards and forwards: we call this
Easing the spring. And rapidly backwards and forwards
The early bees are assaulting and fumbling the flowers:
          They call it easing the Spring.

They call it easing the Spring: it is perfectly easy
If you have any strength in your thumb: like the bolt,
And the breech, and the cocking-piece, and the point of balance,
Which in our case we have not got; and the almond-blossom
Silent in all of the gardens and the bees going backwards and forwards,
          For to-day we have naming of parts.

--------

Poem from muccamukk, and could there be a poem more appropriate for photos of these memorials?


Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington, DC, with reflections of viewers on the surface. I assume everyone has seen photos of the full scope of The Wall, but if you have not, it's worth a look; I've never seen a more eloquent anti-war statement than these 58,000+ names.


The relatively new World War II Memorial, which has large archways at either end -- one for the Atlantic theater, the other for the Pacific theater -- and the 48 states and territories named beneath the wreaths on the pillars.


The Korean War Memorial, which also has a wall, though this one is engraved with images of soldiers and civilians rather than with their names. The names of all the nations that took part in the engagement circle around the statues of soldiers from many parts of the world; this was a joint UN effort.


This is much more than a war memorial, of course, but I love how somber he looks, and the inscription, "In this temple as in the hearts of the people for whom he saved the Union, the memory of Abraham Lincoln is enshrined forever."
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I love daylight savings time! Even if tonight's was interrupted by a massive thunderstorm. And I love whoever convinced Tom DeLay to fall on his sword...even though we will probably get someone just as bad to replace him, I cannot be sorry to hear he'll be out of Washington and out of Congress. Anyone who vows to spend his life promoting Republican candidates and "a closer connection between religion and government" needs to be removed from that government as quickly as possible. As one of my own state's legislators said in the gay marriage debate, you put your hand on the Bible and swear to uphold the Constitution; you don't put your hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible.

The Mixed Chorus at my son's school received a Superior Rating (near perfect score) at the District Choral Festival and will go on to the state festival next month. Son is very pleased about this even though he keeps refusing to do solos, which I fear will hurt him in chorus in the long run. My mother pointed out to his amusement that on Wednesday of next week, at two minutes and three seconds after 1:00 a.m., the time and date will be 01:02:03 04/05/06, which will not happen again in our lifetimes, unless 02:03:04 05/06/07 counts instead. And I guess last year there was an 00:01:02 03/04/05.

So you must indulge me in a few minutes of Russell geekery since I have been so good about not Russell-geeking of late (still embarrassed about the telephone incident, heh). TOFOG changed its name from Thirty Odd Foot of Grunts to The Ordinary Fear of God! Three of the five guys who made up the thirty odd feet are still with them, and they were playing in New Zealand over the weekend where they got this pretty good review, though the writer was not impressed with Russell's banter between songs. This rather scathing review agrees with that and goes to town insulting Russell, calling his music "reminiscent of early 90s Springsteen, circa Human Touch/Lucky Town – when The Boss had been demoted to some sort of roots-rock shift manager." Oof! And the reviewer complains about Russell's working class politics too; doesn't he realize he grew up working class in New Zealand? At least Russell's doing what he loves instead of stupid sniping! Though he wouldn't be Russell if there wasn't trouble, and in this case it's smoking in a smoke-free concert venue; of course that's the part that makes the US papers.

Meh, Florida won. I guess at least GMU can say they lost to the champions. I wish the score had been closer though! I will not watch the Maryland women, since it is clear that I will jinx any basketball team for which I am rooting. *g*
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