Dulce et Decorum est Pro patria mori

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Steve3007
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Dulce et Decorum est Pro patria mori

Post by Steve3007 » November 3rd, 2018, 7:29 am

Tomorrow it will be exactly 100 years since the war poet Wilfred Owen was killed in The Great War.
Wilfred Owen wrote:...If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
Pro patria mori.
Is it sweet and fitting to die for one's country?

Georgeanna
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Re: Dulce et Decorum est Pro patria mori

Post by Georgeanna » November 3rd, 2018, 8:19 am

Steve3007 wrote:
November 3rd, 2018, 7:29 am
Tomorrow it will be exactly 100 years since the war poet Wilfred Owen was killed in The Great War.
Wilfred Owen wrote:...If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
Pro patria mori.
Is it sweet and fitting to die for one's country?
What a tragic story. Killed in action, one week before the end of World War I.
He had decided to return, even though he could have stayed home on light duties. What was he thinking of ?
A duty to fight for his country ?
No.
A duty to be there - to report the horror of war.

So, he did die for his country but in a more subtle sense - perhaps sweet and fitting to him.

Others did their bit to promote peace instead of war.
Some were put on trial and killed as cowards when they walked away, suffering from the deep traumas.
Tragic.

Today, wars continue. Some can't resist the call to duty and patriotism. Others profit greatly from the suffering and deaths of others, never having been near the fields of blood. It is they who are the cowards.

Pacifists were vilified. And then...praised...
What would they be now if they resisted the call to arms ?
Still traitors, after all these years.

From https://wwionline.org/articles/women-pe ... rld-war-i/
Women’s peace sentiments were not typically recorded officially by their governments, but information about female dissenters may be found in their memoirs, in the records of women's peace organizations

Though the women were unable to stop the war, they had set the ground work for decades of intercontinental peace efforts, including the WPP’s successor (the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom), which still works on behalf of women’s issues and for peace around the world.

Often vilified during the World War I years for their outspoken cries against the horrors of war -- women who wanted their men to live and contribute to society rather than supporting the bloodshed, starvation, and death that was occurring – in later times they have been praised as examples of brave truth-tellers and as agents of change. Jane Addams, Emily Greene Balch were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931 and 1946 respectively, and Rosika Schwimmer was given the World Peace Prize in 1937.
It is not sweet or fitting to die for one's country. As Owen wrote: it is an old Lie.

Steve3007
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Re: Dulce et Decorum est Pro patria mori

Post by Steve3007 » November 5th, 2018, 8:09 am

Yes, clearly the graphic descriptions of the effects of Mustard Gas in that poem serve Wilfred Owen's purpose of highlighting the nativity of the horrors of war of the boys who eagerly signed up to fight "ardent for some desperate glory". But, regardless of the horrors that are the same now as they were then, people (particularly, it seems, young men) still often have a strong desire to commit themselves to something that they see as a cause which is much bigger than themselves as individuals. Whether that cause is patriotism for one's country, devotion to a religion or to an ideal, the underlying emotional need seems to be the same. We want to be part of something and thereby give our lives what we see as significance.

It's a sentiment that is echoed in the choice of name for Hemingway's Spanish Civil War novel "For Whom The Bell Tolls". The protagonist of that novel (Robert Jordan) fights and dies for a cause for reasons that are expressed by John Donne's poem from which the title is taken.

Steve3007
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Re: Dulce et Decorum est Pro patria mori

Post by Steve3007 » November 5th, 2018, 8:11 am

Typo: When I said nativity I meant naivety!

Burning ghost
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Re: Dulce et Decorum est Pro patria mori

Post by Burning ghost » November 5th, 2018, 10:46 am

I would hardly compare today to back then. WWI was a huge technological turning point. People today are a little more aware of the horrors (and sometimes the necessity) of war.
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Steve3007
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Re: Dulce et Decorum est Pro patria mori

Post by Steve3007 » November 5th, 2018, 11:24 am

On the subject of the technological breakthrough: I've read that the American Civil War is often regarded as the first war in which modern weapons technology (as opposed to swords) really had an effect. The incidence of such things as gangrene from gunshot and explosives wounds was enormous.

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Re: Dulce et Decorum est Pro patria mori

Post by Burning ghost » November 5th, 2018, 11:56 am

Steve3007 wrote:
November 5th, 2018, 11:24 am
On the subject of the technological breakthrough: I've read that the American Civil War is often regarded as the first war in which modern weapons technology (as opposed to swords) really had an effect. The incidence of such things as gangrene from gunshot and explosives wounds was enormous.
Nah! It was a step up but nothing like to the extent of WWI. The shelling, gas and use of machine guns changed everything. They used old tactics against modern weaponry and millions dies for nothing.

Not to mention that gun were part of war way before the US civil war (eg. Napoleonic war.)
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Steve3007
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Re: Dulce et Decorum est Pro patria mori

Post by Steve3007 » November 5th, 2018, 12:11 pm

You may be right. My information came from watching a documentary series about the American Civil War.

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LuckyR
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Re: Dulce et Decorum est Pro patria mori

Post by LuckyR » November 8th, 2018, 2:40 pm

Well, while soldiers will always die on occasion, Modern warfare dramatically reduces the percentage to the point that a single soldier dying in action warrants a news story.

BTW loggers and fishermen have a higher on-the-job fatality rate than Modern soldiers. In addition since combat deaths are a minority of the reasons for military deaths if you do the calculation and use "combat deaths" instead of "military deaths", aircraft pilots, roofers and iron workers also top combat deaths.

But no one writes poems about roofers...
"As usual... it depends."

Burning ghost
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Re: Dulce et Decorum est Pro patria mori

Post by Burning ghost » November 8th, 2018, 2:56 pm

10,000,000 warrants the attention I think.
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Hereandnow
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Re: Dulce et Decorum est Pro patria mori

Post by Hereandnow » November 8th, 2018, 5:40 pm

Steve3007 Is it sweet and fitting to die for one's country?
One's country? Is that a thing...at all? It's a mode of division, a celebration of keeping what is yours and leaving everyone else out. Yes, when the bad guys come, it's good to unite and kick them out; but beyond this, it's just a bloated notion of identity that the world can heave in a great sigh of relief at the disappearance of.

WWI anti propaganda poetry like Owen's fought against the lunatic idea that getting your lungs filled with mustard gas for a bunch overwrought politicians' agenda (see Sassoon's Counter-Attack) is an insane perversion. They During the war posters were everywhere, and every young lad wanted to go! The rhetoric could never match the horror, though.

Steve3007
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Re: Dulce et Decorum est Pro patria mori

Post by Steve3007 » November 8th, 2018, 6:22 pm

LuckyR wrote:But no one writes poems about roofers...
The Roofer's Lament

Bent double we toiled up the ladder,
Until at last to the broken roof we came,
Those who fell upon the ascent were no sadder,
Than those who worked the tiles in that freezing, driving, accursed rain,
Men tiled asleep,
Falling where they worked,
Till from that roofers' haunted sleep,
We were untimely jerked,
For the slow descent at working day's end,
To pub, dinner, TV, bed and the next day's long drive to a job in Gravesend.
If you could see the blackened thumbnails,
From hammers that have missed their galvanized clout-nail marks,
Or smell the rotting corpses,
Of roofers who lost their footing in the dark,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest,
To children ardent for a reliable recession-proof trade,
The old lie,
Dulce et decorum est ut resarcio tecta.

Burning ghost
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Re: Dulce et Decorum est Pro patria mori

Post by Burning ghost » November 8th, 2018, 9:54 pm

Steve -

Superb!
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LuckyR
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Re: Dulce et Decorum est Pro patria mori

Post by LuckyR » November 9th, 2018, 2:44 am

Steve3007 wrote:
November 8th, 2018, 6:22 pm
LuckyR wrote:But no one writes poems about roofers...
The Roofer's Lament

Bent double we toiled up the ladder,
Until at last to the broken roof we came,
Those who fell upon the ascent were no sadder,
Than those who worked the tiles in that freezing, driving, accursed rain,
Men tiled asleep,
Falling where they worked,
Till from that roofers' haunted sleep,
We were untimely jerked,
For the slow descent at working day's end,
To pub, dinner, TV, bed and the next day's long drive to a job in Gravesend.
If you could see the blackened thumbnails,
From hammers that have missed their galvanized clout-nail marks,
Or smell the rotting corpses,
Of roofers who lost their footing in the dark,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest,
To children ardent for a reliable recession-proof trade,
The old lie,
Dulce et decorum est ut resarcio tecta.
Does this make me your muse?
"As usual... it depends."

Steve3007
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Re: Dulce et Decorum est Pro patria mori

Post by Steve3007 » November 9th, 2018, 2:56 am

Does this make me your muse?
In this particular case, maybe! :D

Are you actually a roofer?

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