For my Thoughtful Thursday piece doing a second post involving poems from Carl Sandburg’s amazing book “Chicago Poems.”
This one is written during World War I, but expresses the future of war.
It’s sad to live in a society that spends billions on a military and prisons, yet demonizes the poor.
Here is the poem:
In the old wars drum of hoofs and the beat of shod feet.
In the new wars hum of motors and the tread of rubber tires.
In the wars to come silent wheels and whirr of rods not
yet dreamed out in the heads of men.
In the old wars clutches of short swords and jabs into the faces with spears.
In the new wars long range guns and smashed walls, guns running
a spit of metal and men falling in tens and twenties.
In the wars to come new silent deaths, new silent hurlers
not yet dreamed out in the heads of men.
In the old wars kings quarreling and thousands of men following.
In the new wars kings quarreling and millions of men following.
In the wars to come kings kicked under the dust and millions
of men following great causes not yet dreamed out in the heads of men.
Made me think of our time, of nuclear weapons, of armed drones. Of the millions more killed in World War II.
Of the wars of the cold war, and the fear of death that came with the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Of the wars of terror, of concern about the terrorist, and when they will strike. Of fears of terror, that cause a loss of freedoms. A fear to bunker buildings. A fear to fly. Bizarre, surreal times.
Poetry is always alive, we just need to find it again.