dVerse — quadrille — Forever Young

Plaster casts taken from soldiers’ mutilated faces (top row), new sculpted faces (bottom row), and final masks (on the table) sit in the studio of Anna Coleman Ladd in 1918. American Red Cross/Anna Coleman Ladd papers/Archives of American Art/Smithsonian Institution

 

Boys of sixteen ,
knuckles cracking to join
Horse clippered skinheads
Excited clumps, dazed mums

Sergeants crack whips
Jumping hoops for tomorrow
Boarded ships, mess kits
Twenty miles to hell

Trenches stenches
Lice crackled flames
Quicksand muck
Silent sorrows buried

Forty million dead wounded

[44 words]

Note:  They Shall Not Grow Old is a 2018 documentary film directed and produced by Peter Jackson. The film was created using original footage of World War I from the Imperial War Museum’s archives, most of it previously unseen, all over 100 years old by the time of release. Audio is from BBC and Imperial War Museum (IWM) interviews of British servicemen who fought in the conflict. Most of the footage has been colourised and transformed with modern production techniques, with the addition of sound effects and voice acting to be more evocative and feel closer to the soldiers’ actual experiences.

I watched half of this ~2-hour documentary last night and the rest today. Last Monday was Remembrance Day/Veterans Day, which was first created at the end of WWI on 11/11/18.

De Jackson (aka whimsygizmo) is today’s host of dVerse.  De says:
Today, I want you to crack the whip on your muse. Crack a joke. Crack us up. A mirror cracked. A book cracked open. The crackling of a fire. A crack of lightning. A crack of light under the door. The crack of dawn.  Get it? Crack open your pen and give us a poem of 44 words using some form of the word crack.

49 Comments Add yours

  1. whimsygizmo says:

    SO much vivid imagery and amazing word and sound play here, Jadeli. “Trenches stenches” alone is spectacular, as is every single line.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, De. The primary focus of the show was what led up to and being in the trenches. Peter Jackson did it up right. There is a mini-movie also where he talks about how it came together. He also admits his focus was very narrow. Now that he has the clips and the interviews sorted, I think he needs to make more chapters on the others involved with the war (woman at home in the factories, all of the various ethnicities that fought in it, the nurses corps, etc.)

      Like

  2. To me the vividness of those trenches will reek through the centuries.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Agreed, Bjorn.

      Like

  3. kanzensakura says:

    Such an ugly war but then they are all ugly. This one was particularly so. You did it full poetic and human justice.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Toni thank you. If one person who watches the show is turned away from thinking war is a good idea it will have been worth the effort.

      Like

  4. Glenn A. Buttkus says:

    WWI introduced poison gas, tanks, airplanes and machine guns. Our worst slaughter was during the Civil War, then seconded by WWI and WWII. Our recent wars have had less deaths because we can expedite medical help, but we have hundreds of thousands who were grievously wounded.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Glenn, I think you would appreciate the show. They talk about so much from WWI, with the actual voices of the actual veterans who were interviewed 20 years or so ago. Jackson took old movies and matched up the scenes with what the soldiers were talking about. It’s an amazing piece of filmmaking!

      Like

  5. I thought you’d be featuring a Bob Dylan song here, but this is even more interesting! You really crack the whip on this one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Said, thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome, Lisa 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Powerful writing, Lisa. You took me there. This piece will def stick with me for a bit. Yikes!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Susan, thank you. The film was very powerful and affecting.

      Like

  7. Rob Kistner says:

    Such horror, such sorrow, such human stupidity! I haven’t watched that Lisa. I will look for it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      It’s in theaters now, but my library already has a copy of it.

      Like

  8. gillena cox says:

    Well done! a dynamite quadrille.
    Happy Monday

    Much✏love

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Gillena.

      Like

  9. memadtwo says:

    So evocative. Those faces say it all. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Kerfe.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. A vivid piece. Well written.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Grace says:

    This was a hard read but a great reminder of the horrors we have witnessed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Grace.

      Like

  12. Oh, wow. This is powerful.
    I will need to see this documentary (‘want’ isn’t quite the right word here, is it…)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Na’ama. It’s important to see, how’s that?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yep. Hence the word “need” …

        Liked by 1 person

  13. You’re really set the scene here — wonderful imagery (for a terrible time)!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Phillip. The scenes are from narration in the movie by the soldiers.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Sadje says:

    A tragedy well told.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Sadje.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sadje says:

        A pleasure Li

        Liked by 1 person

  15. rothpoetry says:

    Great poem Jade… Those knuckle crackin’ boys have no idea what they are getting into!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Dwight. They made mention of that when they started getting into the thick of it.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Mish says:

    Your descriptiveness brings us there….where we need to be, to never forget. A hard reality to accept, this stupidity of war.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Yes, Mish, we must never forget.

      Like

  17. Frank Hubeny says:

    Nice last line about the buried sorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Frank.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. this gave me goosebumps. an ode. an elegy. or both. Too good, Ms. Jade.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you for reading and commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. kim881 says:

    The image and quadrille are haunting. Jade, especially the lines:
    ‘Trenches stenches
    Lice crackled flames’.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. pvcann says:

    Your words unmask the the real horrors of young men suffering, powerful words Lisa.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Paul, thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. pvcann says:

        A great read.

        Liked by 1 person

  21. Beverly Crawford says:

    Old men make war, fostered by hunger for power and greed, and send young men (and now women) to suffer and die. Powerful write.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you and oh how I wish it wasn’t so. It seems to be that way since the beginning of known history…

      Like

  22. Just Barry says:

    Sobering account of the folly of war with powerful visuals.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks Barry. Not an easy reality to accept for sure.

      Like

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