Home > Uncategorized > E. Merrill Root: Drill, like sheep with wolves’ fangs, meek to kill

E. Merrill Root: Drill, like sheep with wolves’ fangs, meek to kill

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

American writers on peace and against war

E. Merrill Root: Military drill. Murder’s witless marionettes.

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E. Merrill Root
R.O.T.C.

The sons of the Republic drill
Like sheep with wolves’ fangs, meek to kill.

See Whitman’s countrymen learn culture –
Apprentice-butchers of the vulture! –
Learn “the dear love of comrades” jagging
Their bayonets thru the dummy’s bagging!
(Since human bowels are too dear –
Or obvious – to use in mere
Practice.) Incipient A. B’s
Take slaughter-courses toward degrees:
Knowledge of Plato is a trifle
To making bull’s-eyes with a rifle;
Training to slit a human belly
Can supplement a course in Shelley.

Uniforms turn each various soul
Alike as lumps of sorted coal.
Unanimous feet tick-tock, tick-tock…
Each Robot is a well-worn clock:
Each one will tick, and turn, and strike
Whatever hour the Times may like…

Important bantams, slick in spurs,
Give orders like real officers;
Meekly the dumb herd to and fro –
Automata of empires – go;
And pretty co-eds clap to see
The new Goose-step Fraternity!

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