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A Canadian Soldier-Good Poems

GDawg

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Northern Touch said:
I have this one on my door so I see it everytime I enter my room. 

He is profane and irreverent, living as he does in a world full of capriciousness, frustration and disillusionment. He is perhaps the best-educated of his kind in history, but will rarely accord respect on the basis of mere degrees or titles. He speaks his own dialect, often incomprehensible to the layman.

He can be cold, cruel, even brutal and is frequently insensitive. Killing is his profession and he strives very hard to become even more skilled at it. His model is the grey, muddy, hard-eyed slayer who took the untakeable at Vimy Ridge, endured the unendurable in the Scheldt and held the unholdable at Kapyong. He is a superlative practical diplomat; his efforts have brought peace to countless countries around the world. He is capable of astonishing acts of kindness, warmth and generosity. He will give you his last sip of water on a parched day and his last food to a hungry child; he will give his very life for the society he loves.

Danger and horror are his familiars and his sense of humour is accordingly sardonic. What the unknowing take as callousness is his defence against the unimaginable; he whistles through a career filled with graveyards.

His ethos is one of self-sacrifice and duty. He is sinfully proud of himself, of his unit and of his country and he is unique in that his commitment to his society is Total. No other trade or profession dreams of demanding such of its members and none could successfully try.

He loves his family dearly, sees them all too rarely and as often as not loses them to the demands of his profession. Loneliness is the price he accepts for the privilege of serving.

He accounts discomfort as routine and the search for personal gain as beneath him; he has neither understanding of nor patience for those motivated by self-interest, politics or money. His loyalty can be absolute, but it must be purchased. Paradoxically, the only coin accepted for that payment is also loyalty.

He devours life with big bites, knowing that each bite might be his last and his manners suffer thereby. He would rather die regretting the things he did than the ones he dared not try. He earns a good wage by most standards and, given the demands on him, is woefully underpaid.

He can be arrogant, thoughtless and conceited, but will spend himself, sacrifice everything for total strangers in places he cannot even pronounce. He considers political correctness a podium for self-righteous fools, but will die fighting for the rights of anyone he respects or pities.

He is a philosopher and a drudge, an assassin and a philanthropist, a servant and a leader, a disputer and a mediator, a Nobel Laureate peacekeeper and the Queen's Hitman, a brawler and a healer, best friend and worst enemy. He is a rock, a goat, a fool, a sage, a drunk, a provider, a cynic and a romantic dreamer. Above it all, he is a hero for our time. You, pale stranger, sleep well at night only because he exists for you, the citizen who has never met him, has perhaps never thought of him and may even despise him. He is both your child and your guardian. His devotion to you is unwavering. He is a Canadian soldier.

--author unknown--

I know I am resurrecting a dead thread here, does anyone have any idea who wrote this? We had this posted up at the FOB I was at in Afghanistan and when I put it up on my facebook I had a great deal of positive feedback about it. It would be great to give credit where it is due as this moving piece of literature makes the rounds.
 

PMedMoe

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Here's another good one:

THE  FINAL  INSPECTION

The soldier stood and faced God,
Which must always come to pass
He hoped his shoes were shining,
Just as brightly as his brass.

"Step forward now, you soldier,
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To My Church have you been true?"

The soldier squared his shoulders and said,
"No, Lord, I guess I ain't.
Because those of us who carry guns,
Can't always be a saint.

I've had to work most Sundays,
And at times my talk was tough.
And sometimes I've been violent,
Because the world is awfully rough.

But, I never took a penny,
That wasn't mine to keep...
Though I worked a lot of overtime,
When the bills got just too steep.

And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God, forgive me,
I've wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place,
Among the people here.
They never wanted me around,
Except to calm their fears.

If you've a place for me here, Lord,
It needn't be so grand.
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don't, I'll understand.

There was a silence all around the throne,
Where the saints had often trod.
As the soldier waited quietly,
For the judgment of his God.

"Step forward now, you soldier,
You've borne your burdens well.
Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets;
You've done your time in Hell."

 

Dariusz

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Here is a short one for this time of the year / remembrance day, from the book "Black Devil Brigade" :


My Buddy

You've been a friend, both good and true
In time of strife, you've seen me through
When we advanced, you stood the test
You did not quit, you did your best
I leave you here, to meet the dawn
Now 'tis night, and I must move on
And at your head, I place this cross
It bears your name, I bear the loss.
                                    --Anonymous
:salute:
 
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MikeL

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Does anyone know the poem that Sgt Lorne Ford read at the end of the documentry Canadians in Afghanistan?
 

leroi

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I like this one. Don't know much about either author or era. I'm guessing WW1. (It may not be Canadian, though.)


The Debt Unpayable

      What have I given,
          Bold sailor on the sea?
      In earth or heaven,
          That you should die for me?
      What can I give,
          O soldier, lean and brave,
      Long as I live,
          To pay the life you gave?
      What tithe or part
          Can I return to thee,
      O stricken heart,
          That thou shouldst break for me?
      The wind of Death
          For you has slain life's flowers,
      It withereth
          (God grant) all weeds in ours.


*F.W. Bourdillon*

 
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MikeL

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"We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies"


Monsters in the Dark
by MCpl Jeff Walsh

I know that they are out there:
I will not be ignorant anymore:
Pulling the blanket over my head will not keep them
from coming ashore;
Instead I choose to confront them
as afraid as I might be;
Because if I don't stop the monsters
our children can never be free.


 
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MikeL

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"When a soldier was injured and could not get back to safety,
his buddy went out to get him, against his officer's orders.
He returned mortally wounded and his friend, whom he had carried back,
was dead. The officer was angry. "I told you not to go," he said.
"Now I've lost both of you. It was not worth it."
The dying man replied, "But it was, sir, because when I got to him he
said, 'Jim, I knew you'd come.'." - Leslie D. Weatherhead
 

TrexLink

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PMedMoe said:
According to this link (see page 7), it was Don Adlam.
It was not Don Adlam. I was there when it was written, in Petawawa years ago. The soldier who wrote it did not wish to be identified, feeling that it was something for all and, in a sense, from all Canadian soldiers.
 

PMedMoe

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TrexLink said:
It was not Don Adlam. I was there when it was written, in Petawawa years ago. The soldier who wrote it did not wish to be identified, feeling that it was something for all and, in a sense, from all Canadian soldiers.

Okay then, no big deal.  Maybe in the link I provided it was submitted by Don Adlam.
 

TrexLink

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Entirely possible; no biggie either way.  There have been a couple of others claiming credit in past, which is pretty sad when you think about it.
 

PMedMoe

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TrexLink said:
There have been a couple of others claiming credit in past, which is pretty sad when you think about it.

It is sad, however, when someone does not claim the work at the original publication, they leave it open for that kind of thing.
 

hlss_h513

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ok i dont know if this poem is realy apropriate but i found it a long time ago.  its about the british invasion of afghanistan in the 1800's


Rudyard Kipling

THE YOUNG BRITISH SOLDIER


When the 'arf-made recruity goes out to the East
'E acts like a babe an' 'e drinks like a beast,
An' 'e wonders because 'e is frequent deceased
  Ere 'e's fit for to serve as a soldier.
    Serve, serve, serve as a soldier,
    Serve, serve, serve as a soldier,
    Serve, serve, serve as a soldier,
        So-oldier ~OF~ the Queen!

Now all you recruities what's drafted to-day,
You shut up your rag-box an' 'ark to my lay,
An' I'll sing you a soldier as far as I may:
  A soldier what's fit for a soldier.
    Fit, fit, fit for a soldier . . .

First mind you steer clear o' the grog-sellers' huts,
For they sell you Fixed Bay'nets that rots out your guts --
Ay, drink that 'ud eat the live steel from your butts --
  An' it's bad for the young British soldier.
    Bad, bad, bad for the soldier . . .

When the cholera comes -- as it will past a doubt --
Keep out of the wet and don't go on the shout,
For the sickness gets in as the liquor dies out,
  An' it crumples the young British soldier.
    Crum-, crum-, crumples the soldier . . .

But the worst o' your foes is the sun over'ead:
You ~must~ wear your 'elmet for all that is said:
If 'e finds you uncovered 'e'll knock you down dead,
  An' you'll die like a fool of a soldier.
    Fool, fool, fool of a soldier . . .

If you're cast for fatigue by a sergeant unkind,
Don't grouse like a woman nor crack on nor blind;
Be handy and civil, and then you will find
  That it's beer for the young British soldier.
    Beer, beer, beer for the soldier . . .

Now, if you must marry, take care she is old --
A troop-sergeant's widow's the nicest I'm told,
For beauty won't help if your rations is cold,
  Nor love ain't enough for a soldier.
    'Nough, 'nough, 'nough for a soldier . . .

If the wife should go wrong with a comrade, be loath
To shoot when you catch 'em -- you'll swing, on my oath! --
Make 'im take 'er and keep 'er:  that's Hell for them both,
  An' you're shut o' the curse of a soldier.
    Curse, curse, curse of a soldier . . .

When first under fire an' you're wishful to duck,
Don't look nor take 'eed at the man that is struck,
Be thankful you're livin', and trust to your luck
  And march to your front like a soldier.
    Front, front, front like a soldier . . .

When 'arf of your bullets fly wide in the ditch,
Don't call your Martini a cross-eyed old bitch;
She's human as you are -- you treat her as sich,
  An' she'll fight for the young British soldier.
    Fight, fight, fight for the soldier . . .

When shakin' their bustles like ladies so fine,
The guns o' the enemy wheel into line,
Shoot low at the limbers an' don't mind the shine,
  For noise never startles the soldier.
    Start-, start-, startles the soldier . . .

If your officer's dead and the sergeants look white,
Remember it's ruin to run from a fight:
So take open order, lie down, and sit tight,
  And wait for supports like a soldier.
    Wait, wait, wait like a soldier . . .

When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains,
And the women come out to cut up what remains,
Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
  An' go to your Gawd like a soldier.
    Go, go, go like a soldier,
    Go, go, go like a soldier,
    Go, go, go like a soldier,
        So-oldier ~of~ the Queen!

 

Monsoon

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hlss_h513 said:
ok i dont know if this poem is realy apropriate but i found it a long time ago.  its about the british invasion of afghanistan in the 1800's
Well that depends on what aspect of the poem you'd like to highlight. If you post it as an observation on the difficulties of service life, then I doubt anyone's going to complain.

However, if you've posted it as a political commentary along the lines of that tiresome refrain from the Taliban's media kit that "Afghanistan-is-ungovernable-and-no-one's-ever-been-able-to-conquer-it-so-why-is-the-west-there?", then the fact that it's a poem isn't likely to blind anyone to the fact that it's also an elaborate insult.

So why don't you tell us what inspired you to post this?
 

JBoyd

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I posted this on my facebook as a note quite a while ago, I know its not specifically about a Canadian soldier, but it is about a soldier none-the-less.

You stay up for 16 hours
He stays up for days on end.

You take a warm shower to help you wake up.
He goes days or weeks without running water and washes up with a wet one.

You complain of a headache and call in sick.
He has blisters on his feet from walking miles in full gear and keeps going.

You put on your anti war/don't support the troops shirt, and go meet up
with your friends.
He still fights for your right to wear that shirt.

You make sure your cell phone is in your pocket.
He clutches the cross hanging on his chain next to his dog tags.

You talk trash about your buddies that aren't with you.
His buddies are closer then a brother and he would lay down his life for anyone of them.

You walk down the beach, staring at all the pretty girls.
He patrols the streets and mountains, searching for insurgents and terrorists.

You complain about how hot it is.
He wears his heavy gear, not daring to take off his helmet to wipe his brow.

You go out to lunch, and complain because the restaurant got your order wrong.
He gets to eat a cold MRE or beef jerky.

Your maid makes your bed and washes your clothes.
He wears the same things for weeks, but makes sure his weapons are clean.

You go to the mall and get your hair redone.
He doesn't have time to brush his teeth today.

You're angry because your class ran 5 minutes over.
He's told he will be held over an extra 2 months.

You call your girlfriend and set a date for tonight.
He waits for the mail to see if there is a letter from home.

You hug and kiss your girlfriend like you do everyday.
He holds his letter close and smells his love's perfume.

You criticize your government and say that war never solves anything.
He sees the innocent tortured and killed by their own people and remembers why he is fighting.

You hear the jokes about the war and make fun of men like him.
He hears the gunfire, bombs and screams of the innocent that he is trying to protect.

You see only what the media wants you to see.
He sees lives experiencing freedom and democracy for the first time.

You are asked to go to the store by your parents. You don't.
He does exactly what he is told.

You stay at home and watch TV.
He takes whatever time he is given to call, write home, sleep and eat.

You crawl into your soft bed, with down pillows, and get comfortable.
He tries to sleep but is awakened by mortars and helicopters all night long.

You sit there and judge him, saying the world is probably a worse place because of men like him.
If only there were more men like him
 

hlss_h513

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hamiltongs said:
Well that depends on what aspect of the poem you'd like to highlight. If you post it as an observation on the difficulties of service life, then I doubt anyone's going to complain.

its just a poem i found in english class last month doing reasearch on kipling and i thought i would post it.
im not realy political i just think all members of the military are great.
 

leroi

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I discovered this newly released book-it's a treasure trove of some very poignant moments in Canadian history-the kind of book I like to keep on the bedside table and read a little at a time.

Details on link: http://www.oupcanada.com/catalog/9780195431711.html

The book is slim and unassuming; the poetry is powerful and the editor, Joel Baetz, claims it's "the first anthology solely devoted to Canadian war poetry ... "

Towards the end of the anthology the editor includes some war letters and writings about the WW I.

Here is one poetic sample:

A Canadian

The glad and brave young heart
Had come across the sea,
He longed to play his part
in crushing tyranny.

The mountains and the plains
Of his beloved land
Were wine within his veins
And gave an iron hand.

He scorned the thought of fear,
He murmured not at pain,
The call of God was clear,
The path of duty plain.

Beneath the shower of lead
Of poison and of fire,
He charged and fought and bled
Ablaze with one desire.

O Canada, with pride
Look up and greet the morn,
Since of thy wounded side
Such breed of men is born.


                                                                                                                                    Frederick George Scott
                                                                                                                                  *Composed at VLAMERTINGHE, NEAR YPRES: 27 April 1915

*"The place and date suggest this poem was written on the occasion of the Second Battle of Ypres in late April 1015," according to Baetz.


 
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