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Posts Tagged ‘poppies’

HERE DEAD LIE WE

Here dead lie we
Because we did not choose
To live and shame the land
From which we sprung.

Life, to be sure, is
Nothing much to lose,
But young men think it is,
And we were young.

A. E. Houseman

I memorized this in high school; I can still see the illustrations on the page, smell the musty literature anthology — it was the kind of book that included “The Most Deadly Game” and “The Lottery”. I think it was the unexpected word order in the first line that first caught my attention; I never really associated it with my great-uncle [who lived with us at the time, and had served during World War I]. That might be because he was posted state-side, and never saw the horrors of the trenches….but who knows if he would have talked about it if he had? That wasn’t a typical sort of conversation, at least not with us.

Living in England for a while showed me many more monuments, many more ways to think about what had happened, and where we might find ourselves in the future.

And here we are: the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month of the year.

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