Wassup Wednesday 11 – Veterans’ Day, 2009

In honor of Veterans’ Day, I am posting today’s poem from this book, Poem a Day.  I picked up my copy of this book for 25 cents at a thrift store.  I don’t read each day’s entry, but I do pick it up a few times a month.  I have enjoyed it as it provides me with a little literary thought to ponder now and again.

Gethsemane (1914 – 1918)

The Garden called Gethsemane

In Picardy, it was.

And there the people came to see

The English soldiers pass

We used to pass–we used to pass

Or halt, as it might be,

And ship our masks in case of gas

Beyond Gethsemane.

The Garden Called Gethsemane,

It held a pretty lass,

But all the time she talked to me

I prayed my cup might pass.

The officer sat on the chair,

The men lay on the grass,

And all the time we halted there

I prayed my cup might pass.

It didn’t pass–it didn’t pass–

It didn’t pass for me.

I drank it when we met the gas

beyond Gethsemane.

                             —Rudyard Kipling (30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936)

The armistice ending the First World War was signed on 11 November 1918.  Kipling’s son John was killed in the Battle of Loos on 27 September 1915.





5 thoughts on “Wassup Wednesday 11 – Veterans’ Day, 2009”

  1. Mom,
    Glad Dad liked the poem.

    If I see another one at a thrift store, I’ll get it and send it to you. 🙂 The one I have is in practically new condition.

  2. Great poem. If you haven’t already seen it, you should watch “My Boy Jack.” It’s about Rudyard Kipling and his son, based on a play. It’s very good. A bit graphic for the kids, probably. I can’t forget that poem.

    “Have you news of my boy Jack?”
    Not this tide.
    “When d’you think that he’ll come back?”
    Not with this wind blowing, and this tide.

    “Has anyone else had word of him?”
    Not this tide.
    For what is sunk will hardly swim
    Not with this wind blowing, and this tide.

    “Oh dear, what comfort can I find?”
    None this tide,
    Nor any tide,
    Except he did not shame his kind,
    Not even with that wind blowing, and that tide.

    Then hold your head up all the more,
    This tide, and every tide,
    Because he was the son you bore,
    And gave to that wind blowing, and that tide!

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