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Famous Stretchers Poems by Famous Poets

These are examples of famous Stretchers poems written by some of the greatest and most-well-known modern and classical poets. PoetrySoup is a great educational poetry resource of famous stretchers poems. These examples illustrate what a famous stretchers poem looks like and its form, scheme, or style (where appropriate).

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by Whitman, Walt
...O the crowd of the bloody forms of soldiers—the yard outside also
Some on the bare ground, some on planks or stretchers, some in the death-spasm sweating; 
An occasional scream or cry, the doctor’s shouted orders or calls; 
The glisten of the little steel instruments catching the glint of the torches; 
These I resume as I chant—I see again the forms, I smell the odor;
Then hear outside the orders given, Fall in, my men, Fall in; 
But first I bend to the dying lad—h...Read more of this...

by Whitman, Walt
...e so early, sleepless, 
As slow I walk in the cool fresh air, the path near by the hospital tent, 
Three forms I see on stretchers lying, brought out there, untended lying, 
Over each the blanket spread, ample brownish woollen blanket,
Grey and heavy blanket, folding, covering all. 

Curious, I halt, and silent stand; 
Then with light fingers I from the face of the nearest, the first, just lift the blanket: 
Who are you, elderly man so gaunt and grim, with well-grey’d hai...Read more of this...

by Rosenberg, Isaac
...strode time with vigorous life,
Till the shrapnel called "an end!"
But not to all. In bleeding pangs
Some borne on stretchers dreamed of home,
Dear things, war-blotted from their hearts.

A man's brains splattered on
A stretcher-bearer's face;
His shook shoulders slipped their load,
But when they bent to look again
The drowning soul was sunk too deep
For human tenderness.

They left this dead with the older dead,
Stretched at the cross roads.
Burnt black by s...Read more of this...

by Service, Robert William
...he wounded in;
Through vigils of the fateful night,
In lousy barns by candle-light;
In dug-outs, sagging and aflood,
On stretchers stiff and bleared with blood;
By ragged grove, by ruined road,
By hearths accurst where Love abode;
By broken altars, blackened shrines
I've tinkered at my bits of rhymes.

I've solaced me with scraps of song
The desolated ways along:
Through sickly fields all shrapnel-sown,
And meadows reaped by death alone;
By blazing cross and splintered sp...Read more of this...

by Service, Robert William
...wn? Damn it, no, sir!
 I'll carry you in if I die.
By cracky! old feller, they've seen us.
 They're sendin' out stretchers for two.
Let's give 'em the hoorah between us
 ('Anged lucky we aren't booked through).
My flipper is mashed to a jelly.
 A bullet 'as tickled your spleen.
We've shed lots of gore
And we're leakin' some more,
 But -- wot a hoccasion it's been!
Ho! 'Ere comes the rescuin' party.
 They're crawlin' out cautious and slow.
Come!...Read more of this...

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