Before now poetry has taken notice
Of wars, and what are wars but politics
Transformed from chronic to acute and bloody?
from "Build Soil"
Robert Frost

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Yes, I'm still on it

One more pretentious addition to my words to James Wolcott, and then I promise I'll let it go. When I first posted about his jab at me, one of my commenters noted that he was probably not impressed with classic American works such as Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass, either. In that spirit, here is one of Walt Whitman's works:

To a Certain Civilian
Did you ask dulcet rhymes from me?
Did you seek the civilian’s peaceful and languishing rhymes?
Did you find what I sang erewhile so hard to follow?
Why I was not singing erewhile for you to follow, to understand—nor am I now;
(I have been born of the same as the war was born;
The drum-corps’ harsh rattle is to me sweet music—I love well the martial dirge,
With slow wail, and convulsive throb, leading the officer’s funeral:)
—What to such as you, anyhow, such a poet as I?—therefore leave my works,
And go lull yourself with what you can understand—and with piano-tunes
For I lull nobody—and you will never understand me.

24 comments:

  1. Fucking spot on, troop.

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  2. Good choice of poetry - I love whitman.

    (hugs) As always - you are in our prayers.

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  3. Well done!

    Rest assured that Wolcott will never be even half the man you are.

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  4. I was the "commenter" who mentioned _Leaves of Grass_. I own a second edition of _John Brown's Body_. And a copy of Xenophon's book. Both were worth my time; I think they will be worth yours. I also recommend Kipling to you.

    Aboard a boat, the most important thing to have is a well-rested crew. I assume the same is so for Combat Engineers. So sleep when you can, Marine.

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  5. Paladin 300022/1/07 15:10

    Glad to see someone mentioning Kipling. He definetly was the soldiers poet.
    All he has written is still relevant today. If not even more so.

    Keep up the good work Troop

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  6. Thanks for your service young man, we look at you with pride

    The old sarge

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  7. Your photos are great, I hope you are saving them digital, I have been trying to copy Vietnam Photos recently, not so good......

    I linked you site, hope you do not mind.

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  8. Babe, James Wolcott isn't fit to lick your boots. Plus he's a mean-spirited jerk. :)

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  9. trylisc91122/1/07 20:36

    the nerve of some people is astonishing, i guess without idiots like him in the world the rest of us wouldnt look so good! personally i say keep up the good work you are doing a great job. and i like the handle teflon don its kinda......permatex like......even adoring....
    ret lcpl shannon fauver

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  10. And no doubt Woolcott has no idea how important Fallujah was in keeping Western civilization alive long enough for him to have a job impressing the rustics--which he ought to, if he really was the intellectual he thinks he is. (Only back then they called it Pumbedita. You are quite literally walking on an important piece of history every day you're htere. Check Wikipedia for some of the details.)

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  11. Kishnevi-

    No need for Wikipedia here!

    I assume you refer to the Jewish academy at Pumbedita. Along with another academy at Sura (modern-day Samarra, I believe), the Talmud scholars kept vast amounts of knowledge alive from the 4th century until the mid 11th century.

    That's just one more item of history I could have added to Walking on History

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  12. gave you a shout out on my blog today, thanks for your service! bee

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  13. Got here by way of Sarge Charlie, I'm over in the 'stan' for a second tour. Keep your head down and your powder dry.

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  14. Excellent choice of poetry TD. And congratulations on coming in 7th in the VA Mortgage Milblogs Awards.

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  15. Congrats, Teflon Don!

    I hope your CO is okay with the fact that your blog outpolled his in the milblog contest.

    Kinda nice to know that an American soldier honors the history of the place he patrols.

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  16. Keep up the good work, TD.

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  17. You know, I only read poetry because of you...

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  18. I think that maybe my comment got lost in cyberspace somewhere.

    I love your blog. I have linked it in mine as I am the mother of a future Marine. He ships out for basic training on Parris Island July 23.

    Thank you so much for your service.
    Please stay safe.

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  19. You should still be on it. Wolcott may be a pompous, second rate thinker, and a sterling example of a donkey's hindquarters brought to human life, but he has a huge forum, thanks to his position at the vapid, hysterically anti-war Vanity Fair. Considering that his snide remarks have given you prominence to a body of readers you normally wouldn't have reached, it's entirely appropriate for you to continue the smack down.

    On another note altogether, I think there's some great historical message in the fact that a poet who was a voice of the Civil War is still speaking to our troops almost 150 years later.

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  20. Slightly off topic: You need to meet Colonel Matthew Bogdanos, USMC, author of the book Thieves of Baghdad. Drop an email with an address and I'll ship you a copy.

    Heh. Navy talking to Army about Marines. Gotta love it.

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  21. I know this is an afterthought, but...

    You know what James Wolcott's latest and greatest important contribution to the crucial world of journalism is? 'Why British Sex Scandals Are Better Than Ours.'

    I kid you not. I think I died a little inside. I shall never again think of "field mice" in the same way.

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