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Sign up your sons

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Below is the poem entitled Sign up your sons which was written by poet Emma Gregory. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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Sign up your sons

Like a tiny fish
Escaping the jaws of a shark,
He limps in, with
Desperate relief and terror.

His face, as dusty and grey
As the room about him,
With lamps for eyes
Staring out of the gloom.

Thunder booms above him,
On and on, full of rage,
And never ending.
Screams and death reply.

His wounded leg 
That slowly seems crimson 
Collapses like his soul 
Beneath him, in pain

His voice, harsh from the cries
Of battle, whispers
“I will die here” and 
Latches onto a falling tear.

He smells of blood and carrion,
Human waste and April rain
And gunpowder from the Gods
Who purge this place.

His bright eyes dim,
Once so full of laughter,
Youth, and Mary,
Are now filled only with war.

As brave as a lion 
With eagle’s wit, he finds
Who can fear death when they’ve seen
The death of life itself?

He is just a tiny fish,
Escaping the jaws of a mighty shark
Ten thousand strong
And ravenous.

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  1. Date: 8/2/2009 11:52:00 AM
    Excellent verse..the Roman sent in the infantry first...The word infantry was borrowed into other Romance languages from the Latin infantem, originally "a youth" who as an infante "foot soldier" served in groups composed of those who were too inexperienced or low in rank for cavalry. ......The least skilled, the least experienced, the most expendable. Good contest entry for "War What is it good for?" Light & Love

  1. Date: 5/27/2009 7:26:00 AM
    Exquisite poetry ... perfect metaphor ... the symbolism lifts the reader to heights of exaltation. You got this character portrayal thing down to a science ... furnished with golden nuggets of art ... bravo