POETRY FORMAT, 19 May 2014
The poet Wilfred Owen was killed on the Hindenburg Line in World War I a week before the Armistice. He wrote: “I came out in order to help these boys—directly by leading them as well as an officer can; indirectly, by watching their sufferings that I may speak of them as well as a pleader can.”
I, too, am a pleader,
but insane, groveling,
inarticulate, nearly mute or shrieking,
a howling lunatic, mad preacher,
cowardly begging them
to stop wars.
Leaders, brave and responsible men,
patriots, courageous warriors
will not listen to me,
and should not,
because I am terrified, useless.
I go on and on, babbling
for centuries, ignorant
of what history was
and must be.
All I have achieved
is a futile wail
drowned out by explosions
and the silence
of the dead.
Tom Greening: “I engage in five professional activities:
Faculty Member at Saybrook University
Private Practice of Psychotherapy
Clinical Professor of Psychology, UCLA
International Editor of the Journal of Humanistic Psychology
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 19 May 2014.
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