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Leaving the War Behind

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Below is the poem entitled Leaving the War Behind which was written by poet Taylor Graham. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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Leaving the War Behind

Leaving the War Behind
for Elihu Burritt, peacemaker

The cannon thundered in the South,
    	And with the sound
     	The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men! 
- H. W. Longfellow,  “Christmas Bells”

1863, your old friend Longfellow almost 
despairing. What a year! The Union 
torn. Chancellorsville. War’s ravenous mouth. 
And then came Vicksburg, Gettysburg. 
The whole land lay in a bloody drouth,
the cannon thundered in the South,

and Elihu, you sailed away. For years 
you let the ink flow like a sea 
to float the cause of Peace. Yet you found 
no peace at home. Was it a personal 
surrender, to be England-bound?
And with the sound
of waves and seabirds, did you leave 
behind the burden of a homeland 
north to south a battleground?
Could a foreign landscape comfort 
you? Or did war images confound – 
the carols drowned

in military march-time in your head? 
As summer waned, the loss of Chickamauga. 
Brother killing brother in a marshy fen. 
Elihu, did you never quite give up 
the distant hope – oh where, and when? – 
of peace on earth, good-will to men? 

Copyright © Taylor Graham

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  1. Date: 7/18/2012 7:20:00 AM
    Congratulations on your poem making it through round one of the PoetrySoup International Poetry Contest. I wish you the best in the finals Taylor. Love, Carol

  1. Date: 8/2/2011 3:47:00 PM
    Congratulations on your poetry making it through round one in the PoetrySoup International Poetry contest Taylor. I wish you the best in the final round. Love, Carol

  1. Date: 6/28/2011 6:20:00 AM
    My congratulations on your poem being featured this week, Taylor

  1. Date: 6/27/2011 6:25:00 PM
    Congrats on a well written featured poem. A time of agony for both sides. We will see good will when we see an end to power and greed dominating the political scene. Vince

  1. Date: 6/27/2011 5:20:00 AM
    Congratulations on your well written poetry being featured this week Taylor. Love, Carol