Remembrance Day

I did my two minutes' silence at 11 o'clock this morning. As always, I ended up actually thinking about it for a lot longer than two minutes. I just thought I'd put a bit of my favourite piece of WWI literature up here, a little extract from In Parentheses by David Jones. This is from the final section, when they are attacking Biez Wood.

And the storm rises higher
and all who do their business in the valley
do it quickly
and up in the night-shades
where death is closer packed
in the tangled avenues
fair Balder falleth everywhere
and thunder-besom breakings
bright the wood
and a Golden Bough for
Johnny and Jack
and blasted oaks for Jerry
and shrapnel the swift Jupiter for each expectant tree;
after what hypostases uniting:
withered limbs for the chosen
for the fore-chosen.
Take care the black brush-fall
in the night-rides
where they deploy for the final objective.
Dark baulks sundered, bear down,
beat down, ahurtle through the fractured growings green,
pile high an heaped diversity.
Brast, break, bough-break the backs of them,
every bone of the white wounded who wait patiently -
looking toward that hope:
for the feet of the carriers long coming
bringing palanquins
to spread worshipful beds for heroes.

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