Home > Uncategorized > Hugh MacDiarmid: A war to save civilization, you say?

Hugh MacDiarmid: A war to save civilization, you say?

Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Hugh MacDiarmid

To Nearly Everybody In Europe Today

A war to save civilization, you say?
Then what have you to do with it, pray?
Some attempt to acquire it would show truer love
Than fighting for something you know nothing of.

*****

Another Epitaph on an Army of Mercenaries (1935)

It is a God-damned lie to say that these
Saved, or knew, anything worth any man’s pride.
They were professional murderers and they took
Their blood money and their impious risks and died.
In spite of all their kind some elements of worth
With difficulty persist here and there on earth.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Felicity Arbuthnot
    December 4, 2011 at 8:35 am

    History repeats, man (and womens’) stupidity, greed, arrogance, inhumanity, bloodthirstyness, racist superiority – and sheer criminality. And that’s only the politicians.

    Your poetry and prose are gems.

    Pacifically, felicity a.

    • richardrozoff
      December 5, 2011 at 3:06 am

      Before he sadly became what he is now, in the early 1970s Clive James wrote these song lyrics:

      Now the fire of redemption is a guttering flame
      A man is an image before he’s a name
      And the deadly arrangement that fixes the game
      Is the way the inhuman is always the same

      In anticipating the neoliberal new world order of the past generation – almost 150 years ago – Dostoevsky warned that “a rich and ancient tradition of denial and protest is needed in order not to yield” to it.

      The literary compilation is an attempt to gather, from 200 writers in some 40 nations spanning 26 centuries, as much of the – universal and timeless – tradition of peace, humanity and sanity as I can.

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