(c) all rights reserved · dverse · poetry · quadrille · Uncategorized

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 thoughts on “dVerse — quadrille — Forever Young

    1. 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.)


  1. 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. 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!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.